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Thread: Brand Names

  1. #1
    One of the worst people here
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    Brand Names

    Over the last few years I have really soured on fashion brand names. I am not talking about brand names that develop through our industry like Tura or Silhouette, but brand names like Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and Gucci. I feel that many of these frames are extremely over price and have little value. I have no problem with having expensive stuff, but the look, quality, and style must be there. I look at a lot of the brand names and I am disappointed. I feel that for their price they do not match up to the quality or style that they should, and I feel that they are not industry leader anymore.

    Now I am not going to lie and build myself up to be a saint that I am not. I do carry some brand names. The city where we dispense in is a very basic (cough**redneck**cough) city. I am being repeatitively told that we carry the best and most unique styles in town, but I do have to stay rather conservative. So I carry some brand names, but the brands I carry are the ones with the best value for the price. But I am very happy with my inventory and I do feel that the product I sell is fair and not over priced.

    I just wanted to see how others felt on this issue.

  2. #2
    Underemployed Genius Jacqui's Avatar
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    I think the "Designer" frames are really, in most cases, overpriced JUNK. In the lab we see a lot of them that may not even last long enough to be fitted and things seem to be getting worse. I still remember the old AO, Shuron, B&L, Universal frames that were made to last 20 years or more (beleive it or not we just had a 14k gold Ronsir come through that looked like new).

  3. #3
    Is it November yet? Jana Lewis's Avatar
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    Yes... I agree!

    I agree with what you have said. My problem is our office is located in a very high-end area of town, we are located close to another high end optical that got most of the "contracts" on special names and pieces.

    So..... to keep me psuedo high-end, I must bow to "brand-names" What I hate is that it's difficult to explain to a patient the difference in price between a Prada and a Safilo Team. Or why their four hundred dollar Prada fell apart in two weeks.

    "Sir, it's just the name" dosen't cut it.

    I would like to see some of the "name brands" give us some quality options as opposed to just fashion.
    Jana Lewis
    ABOC , NCLE

    A fine quotation is a diamond on the finger of a man of wit, and a pebble in the hand of a fool.
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  4. #4
    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments
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    Facts about Designer Names ..........................................

    Quote Originally Posted by For-Life

    I am not talking about brand names that develop through our industry like Tura or Silhouette, but brand names like Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and Gucci.
    In the 1970's when Fashion Designer Names started to come up I had a friend in the textile industry. He was manufacturing mens pants, courderoi and blue jeans.

    He sold the blue jeans by the 1000's to K-Mart, Miracle Mart, Zellers and other large discount outfits. He had a ball.

    The jeans sold for $ 7.75 to K-Mart and others who sold them to the public for $ 19.95.

    My friend had made a deal to use the name "Christian Dior" on his jeans.

    He attached the "Christian Dior Labels" to the same jeans he sold to K-Mart and sold them to boutiques for $ 39.00 who resold them to the public for $ 76.00. Same model, same jeans, same colors and he did fantastic business with the same pants at either price.

    I used to be distributor for 2 major European manufacturers in Canada and one of them was making the "Emanual Ungaro" line of frames at the time.
    At some point I discovered that the manufacturer was selling the same frames (without the "Emanuel Ungaro") in the USA at 1/2 the price of what we paid in Canada.

    A manufactuerers deal consists of paying a few Dollars per frame or other item made. The people who license out a name, never see nor want to see the product as long as they are getting their fees.

    Once you have the right to a name product, you order them made in China and throw them on the market with a lot of publicity and tam tam and opticians and the public find them fantastic and high class, ..............

    ................while probably some little frame distributor has the same identical frame in his sample case. You might look at it and say "I would not want to sell any of this cheap stuff".

    I guess this is the new modern way of selling and the power of advertising which indicates that product quality is in the eyes of the beholder.
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

  5. #5
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    I'm totally with you. I think your average consumer should be just about numb to brand names: Coach, Nine West, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Fendi, DKNY, Dior, Kate Spade, Armani, Prada, Valentino, Versace, Anne Klein, Brooks Brothers, Saks Fifth Avenue, Pamela Anderson, Sophia Lauren, Lauren Hutton, Jeep, Eddie Bauer, Izod, Hilfiger, Disney, Fisher-Price, Timex, Fossil...aargh.

    A manufacturer will stick any recognizable name onto a frame, as if that adds any value to the consumer. I suppose some study somewhere shows consumer confidence increases with brand name recognition, but give me a break. Pez eyeglasses? What a joke.

    Branding is apparently hot right now, but if meant anything to optical professionals at one time, it sure doesn't now. The only name brands I'm interested in are ones that have weight as manufacturers, like Seiko, Silhouette, Lafont, Mikli, Oakley, Matsuda, whatever. Those kinds of brand names represent companies, not licenses, and sophisticated customers should learn those names. I think branding is an insult to the eyewear consumer's intelligence, ultimately.

    I see crappy frames hiding behind designer names all the time. I won't mention any, but the big companies' quality maxes out with the house brands. Sure, the designs may be significantly better in their designer collections, but the quality sure isn't. Therefore, I feel you pay about $50 at retail for the style and the name, only.

    Having said that, I do carry Polo/Ralph Lauren as an example of this kind of frame, and I know the quality does not totally justify the $200 pricetag, but I feel I must do a little of that. It's just not the smartest buy in the optical, however.

  6. #6
    One of the worst people here
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    So how do your clients react to brand names, because 99 percent of my clientele and potential clientele could not care.

  7. #7
    OptiBoard Professional Eddie G's's Avatar
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    We just switched our frame lines to mostly BRAND NAMES and it's the best thing we ever did! Quality sucks but the name sells. The word gets around when you carry brand names.

    The only quality brand name that we carry is Oakley.

  8. #8
    Is it November yet? Jana Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by For-Life
    So how do your clients react to brand names, because 99 percent of my clientele and potential clientele could not care.
    For-life....

    Consider yourself lucky that you don't have to carry the brand names..... we do. People ask for them, and when my patients ask... we deliver. I do have some non-brand, and basic quality frames ( flexon etc...) for some of the patients, but basically the brand names out sell.

    The problem I have is that people associate designer products with quality....( if it costs more, it must be worth it) That's not neccesarily true. Thats what just chaps me about these frame companies... they basically have us over a barrell, we pay the high price for the frame, moving that cost to our patients, only to get cheap crappy product.

    If I COULD, I would get out of the "designer" business.... I just can't though... it keeps the bread on the table. :(
    Jana Lewis
    ABOC , NCLE

    A fine quotation is a diamond on the finger of a man of wit, and a pebble in the hand of a fool.
    Joseph Roux

  9. #9
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    How do patients approach you for brand names? Do they say "Hey, I would like to try some Gucci's"?

  10. #10
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    The brand name game is a double edged sword, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. I have people come in and ask for a particular brand all the time, if I don't have it they walk. They have something particular in mind and that's it. Big brands do sell!
    I agree that most designer labels are junk and that the biggest expense in making them is the licensing fee! The manufacturers pay the big bucks to have that label. Clothing is the same way. My daughter recently purchased a pair of sandals at Mervins they had a designer name of some sort. she paid $28. Later she was at Target and they had the exact sandal for $9.95...no label. So she bought them and returned the others. (bless her)

  11. #11
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    Name does not instill quality - it magnifies marketing. Take Vera Wang for instance; In the 70's only few knew her as a skater (ice) and then a designer for Ice Skater Costumes. She then transended into wedding apparel, now her name is on anything from dinner ware to eyeglasses. How did that happen? Marketing! We live for the recognition of class. We want the best. If a 'Designer' can sell their product (just as we do) as a quality product and market it correctly, then it becomes a level of prestige. Perception is due dilligence. If we can't change the way a product is made and what we are charged for it, but it is in demand, who are we to deny the public, after all we too are the public and require the same status as those who visit us.
    :cheers:
    Cowboy

  12. #12
    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments
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    My daughter recently purchased a pair of sandals at Mervins they had a designer name of some sort. she paid $28. Later she was at Target and they had the exact sandal for $9.95...no label. So she bought them and returned the others. (bless her)
    How would you like and react if your customer would come back with the $ 400.00 frame you sold him or her, and ask for a refund because he or she found the same frame without the designer name at a Lenscarfter or Sears store where it was priced at $ 45.00 ?????????????

    This could actually happen as described on above posting.
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser
    How would you like and react if your customer would come back with the $ 400.00 frame you sold him or her, and ask for a refund because he or she found the same frame without the designer name at a Lenscarfter or Sears store where it was priced at $ 45.00 ?????????????

    This could actually happen as described on above posting.
    Anything we purchase in our day to day lives will have a copy for less money. The question is, was it produced by the same company with the same quality standards? If so, then there would be no arguement and the product should then be refunded the difference. However, if you take a stroll down almost any street in Manhattan, you will find knock-offs of almost any brand name, but the difference is that the product is not the same as the origonal.
    When it comes to frames, and thinking about how many models there are (just look at the Frames Guide) there cannot be that many factories producing for each vendor. The fact of the matter is that there are a handful of factories that produce for several lines and vendors. Without a doubt, there will be the same frame with no 'label' for less $$. Now this goes back to my last post, did the person buy the frame for the prestige of the name, or the quality and price of the product? If the first of the two is evident, then you have nothing to worry about. If it was for the quality and/or the price, then this topic is something to consider.
    :cheers:

    Cowboy

  14. #14
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    Same frame, same Manufacturer ............................


    If it was for the quality and/or the price, then this topic is something to consider.
    ...............but not same supplier.

    Chinese frame manufacturers will make new models.License holders for designer names will order a quantity of frames with designer name.

    Another frame distributor will order a quantity of the same frame without the designer name.

    Far East manufacturers have no loialty to their customers. Whoever comes up with the money will get what he wants.

    Cowboy, I believe you will have to check out this argument and consider the topic

    A designer name frame or product, does not have to have any quality standads, the name alone is supposed to make it a seller

    A factory name brand is forced to keep a certain quality standard or the company would soon be out of business
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Clarify that last sentence, please, Chris.

    I think you're saying the same thing I am, right?

    Alan Mikli better had keep his quality up, because he isn't hiding behind a brand name.

    Gucci can be overpriced junk, because Safilo could retire the line if it's not favored anymore, and continue on with Armani. Even though it's the same quality stuff-consumers would not realize the common source of manufacture.

    By the way, I'm just making up an example. Substitute any designer names in there.

  16. #16
    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments
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    Clarify .....................

    drk

    Clarify that last sentence, please, Chris.

    A factory brand name should be the name of the manufacturer who made the product, or is supposed to. as Rodenstock, Luxottica, L'Amy ect

    A designer brand name is one that carries no manufacturers name, but only the so called designers name. No legal responsability for quality by anybody.
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

  17. #17
    Master OptiBoarder chm2023's Avatar
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    Designer agreements.

    Actually there is no set rule. If a designer chooses, he/she can set quality standards, or any other standards--logo positioning, colors, materials etc--he/she wants. Obviously it's his name and he can call the tune.

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    Bad address email on file sjthielen's Avatar
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    My store sells mostly branded products, Brands signify a quality image in the minds of the consumer. Branded product also builds fashion awareness to the industry. Because I understand this, my customer base also understands and is more pleasant to deal with because price is not their primary intrest. Customers that understand Branding are looking for VALUE not price.

  19. #19
    One of the worst people here
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjthielen
    My store sells mostly branded products, Brands signify a quality image in the minds of the consumer. Branded product also builds fashion awareness to the industry. Because I understand this, my customer base also understands and is more pleasant to deal with because price is not their primary intrest. Customers that understand Branding are looking for VALUE not price.
    See this is where I think I take a step back and look it all over again. To tell you the truth, lately I have been really disappointed with the designs of the big brands. Again I am not talking about Silhouette or Alan Mikli, but the designer brands. I feel that a lot of their designs are not innovative, some are, but a lot are not. I also do not feel that they are also very innovative quality wise. I carry frames in my store that some of you might not of ever heard of. With the high volume of competition on the frame side some of these companies are not really known, but I will tell you what. I get people in here comparing their designs to the big designers and they love these more, when I sell one they do not come back broken, and they cost generally around $30 or less. So when I can get that type of quality and design from a frame that costs that much, if I get a frame in the range of $59 to $139 it better beat that product. I feel that designer labels are not identifying this and I just can't support their product if they don't.

  20. #20
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Just to post what I'm learning from this thread:

    Some markets are hot for designer names. I envy them, since they probably have better frame sales...if someone sees a "Designer X" frame and has to have it! Probably these people have lesser weight on quality. Heck, maybe they get a frame a year or two!

    My market is definitely NOT designer-name driven. Then, quality is the bigger component.

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