Enough of down levelling

januari 8, 2013

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Once the optical industry was based on quality, craftsmanship and delivering the best possible products. In the last decades we have seen a lot of down levelling. Most of the collections in the stores come from the same factories and are produced in such high quantities that it is hard to give them any distinguishing product features. If you have a look at the collections in the stores you just see more of the same. Of course this is not only the case in the optical business but certainly the same in other businesses as well. All over the world however creative entrepeneurs prove that this is not necessary. They are successful with stores offering distinguishing products and brands and new (restaurant)concepts. In Amsterdam, where I live, I prefer to shop in the Utrechtsestraat or the Haarlemmerstraat. Looking at the crowd there, it is easy to see that I’m not the only one preferring these streets above the usual H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch, the main shopping street Kalverstraat or even the luxury street P.C. Hooftstraat with all the major fashion houses. Especially the optical stores need more diversity and more to choose for the consumer. It is a major function of the retailer to find new, exciting and inspiring products worldwide and offer them local. Not just in store but also on websites and Facebook pages or wherever else to attract clients. We cannot distinguish ourselves with discounts or the same Ray-Ban promotions but certainly with original products, a clear mission and a “soul” which make people come back and become fans. Too often in the years behind “business” replaced “soul”. That might be interesting for the short term but most of the time it is the beginning of the end. Those who, with respect for the history and roots of the company, again and again dare to renew themselves, will be the most successful in the end. Consumers are looking for clear offers, confidence and quality but love to be surprised in the right way as well. As for me, we levelled down more than enough. May 2013 become the year of creativity and an end to down levelling. Dare to do business with heart and soul and don’t be afraid to be different. It’s the best basement for a healthy and wealthy future.

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