Do children benefit from anti-glare on their lenses?  You bet!    Anti-reflective coating makes you see better.  It also improves your appearance.  If fact, ALL spectacle wearers should have non-glare lenses.  It’s modern technology!  Anyone who had to wear glasses, and understood exactly what that coating did, would want it.

Yet most consumers don’t yet understand that they want it.  We have to MAKE them want it!

Sadly, as I mentioned in: The Vocation of Opticianry, the average consumer will spend MUCH more on their wants than their needs, and eyewear consumers see eyeglasses as a NEED… an unwelcome need!

It’s our JOB to make the need of optimal vision into an urgent consumer want.

The Challenge of Children and A/R Coatings

Selling A/R to kids is a challenge because it is the parents who are buying it, not the patient.  Parents are bombarded all the time with “spending opportunities” for their children.  Many feel overwhelmed.  With costs rising and funds shrinking, most have to justify each purchase.  If spectacles are viewed as a need rather than a want, if they are seen only as a medical expense, the temptation to go “generic” may take over.  After all, many consumers feel that eyewear should be free!  Getting them to spend on it is difficult..

Yet we, as parents, will often spend liberally on other things for our children.  We want to see them happy.  We scrimp and save to get them their heart’s desires at birthdays and holidays.  We enjoy being able to provide those coveted high tech games and toys.  We get them just the right shoes and clothes (you know, the ones that ALL the other kids are wearing!)  We give them dance or karate lessons.  We run ourselves ragged taking them to sports practice.  We do our very best to give them their WANTS, all within reason, of course.

Soooo… if kids really wanted anti-glare coating on their glasses, I mean REALLY wanted it, and ASKED for it specifically, we’d buy it for them.  Of course we would!

The problem is, they don’t ask for it, and, when offered it by confused and clueless parents, they often shake their heads.

They don’t know they should want it.

We haven’t been doing our jobs.

Youth are savvy consumers

For a consumer block which has little or no actual money of their own, children wield a LOT of power.  If you don’t believe it, just think about all the advertising that is aimed at kids.  If you want to sell something, the best bet is to make kids want it.  It works every time!

Kids know EXACTLY what’s trending.  They’re up to date on what’s new and popular.  They also tend to be firm believers in BRAND. Kids won’t be happy with something else.  They want certain brand named clothes, and they know exactly which smartphone or tablet is the best.  They certainly know which style and brand of eyewear they want.  The best way to make sure that a kid WON’T wear their glasses is to get them a frame they don’t want.  But they will wear just about ANY lenses…

They don’t know the difference.  And if asked if they feel they need anti-reflective coatings they will probably decline.  Unless all their friends are wearing anti-glare, they won’t perceive a want.  As consumers go, there is no one more conservative than a child!

Parents, sadly, think that anti-reflective coating is for driving, night driving in particular.  We’ve done a wonderful job educating the public about that!  But, since children don’t drive, many parents can’t see squandering their cash for any “extras.”

The demand will have to come from the children themselves.  We need to rethink our advertising strategy.

We need to make anti-reflective coating COOL.  Or… we need to make real sure that plain, glare-filled lenses are UN-COOL.  Think of the possibilities!

Marketing Anti-glare for children

The best way to market anti-reflective coating to kids is to get them to think that NOT having it is, well, NOT ACCEPTABLE to their peers.  We have to educate them that it isn’t the “done thing” to have the right frame… they have to have the right lenses too!

Here’s an example:

Camera pans to a group of preteen girls primping in front of a mirror.
A new girl enters the group.  She is wearing new glasses and wants to show them off.

Are those new glasses?  Cool!” one of the girls exclaims.

The first girl smiles demurely.  “They’re ____ (insert your favorite brand)” she says.

All the girls “ooh” and “ah” over the glasses.  The proud owner basks in the attention.

One girl looks at her critically.  “What’s wrong with your lenses?” she asks.

The first girl narrows her eyes in alarm. “What do you mean? What’s wrong with my lenses?”

“Well… they’re all… shiny!”

The other girls all look critically at them and nod in agreement. “Yeah,” they say.

“There’s so much glare I can’t see your eyes!”

The new girl is confused.  “But isn’t that the way lenses are?”

“Not MY lenses!” and the second girl takes out her pair of eyeglasses, which just happen to have anti-reflective coating.  “MY lenses are perfectly clear.  They’re anti-glare!”

All the girls gather ’round to admire the second girl’s gorgeous eyeglasses.  They all look impressed.

The first girl is suddenly defensive.  “But that’s really expensive, isn’t it?”

“Not at _____ (eyewear vendor of your choice.) An anti-glare add on is only ____.  But who cares how much it COSTS?  It’s the LOOK that counts!”

The first girl takes her glasses off and and puts them into her case… They no longer seem good to her.

A few ads like that and parents won’t be able to buy them glasses that DON’T have anti-reflective!