A favorite Pow! alumnus, Jeff Gruia of the Seeqa Eyeglass empire, is applying the "Taking Things Out Of Context" Surprise Marketing tactic to drive his business forward in tough times.
Instead of waiting for customers to seek out his high-end reading glasses in boutiques and upscale department stores, he's "taking the mountain to Mohammed" so to speak by selling his wares in home parties.
Previously the domain of lesser-cost products from folks like Avon, Amway, Tupperware or a myriad of adult-oriented fashion and uh..."accessories," the advent of Botox parties and gatherings of gold-sellers has moved the price point up a notch, opening the doors to people like Jeff and his colorful frames and lenses.
Sounds obtuse, but that's the point in generating Surprise. A new reason to get together coupled with a real-time social feedback look (i.e. "Those look great on you!" etc.) has made Jeff's latest risk a winner.
You can book your own reading glass party by calling Jeff at 1-877-448-8898...and as a little bonus, you can read up on him in this excerpt from my Pow! book below:
“I watch shows like CSI and Law & Order all the time, and I always see my competitors’ frames on their characters,” Jeff complained. “Is there a way I can get my glasses onto the people on these shows?”
“Sure,” I said. “I can turn you onto a product placement consultant. They’ll charge you about $100,000 and ask for an equivalent amount in product samples. Let’s say they do their job really well—your frames and glasses will be seen all over the primetime players you covet.
“However, you’ll still be faced with the real problem,” I continued. “Nobody would know that they’re yours. In fact, if you started this call by telling me that the glasses I see on these shows right now are yours, I’d probably believe you. I wouldn’t know the difference.”
Despite their color and unique designs, Seeqa glasses are rather undistinguishable from the competition. And at $100 or so a pair, they are in the high-end of non-prescription readers, thus an easy mark for cannibalization by lower-priced, discount-store copycats. The problem wasn’t getting them on TV screen; the problem was getting them on the radar screen.
So as a public service to a really nice guy, we spent some time “deconstructing” his true problem. We looked at price, sourcing issues, lens power, fit, packaging, placement at the retail level (they’ve cracked some major names, like Neiman-Marcus and Saks), before finally being blinded by the shiny object:
Why people wear them.
“Obviously, reading glasses are worn to read, but to read what?” I asked Jeff.
At first, he didn’t get it, but then we started to list what people read with his—or any—glasses. Summer “beach novels.” Financial statements. Music. Love letters. Blogs. BlackBerries or cellphones. Books on Surprise marketing.
That “what” instead of “why” was the piece of the puzzle to concentrate on. Instead of just being another purveyor of “fashion eyewear,” Seeqa could develop a line of “Lifestyle Eyewear.” I’m sure you’re already picturing the different frames that could make “Business Glasses” or “Love Lenses” or “Mobile Eyes” stand out in the marketplace, and give rise to new designs in each category every year.
Then all Jeff would have to do is wait as the folks from Jerry Bruckheimer Productions and Dick Wolf Productions, producers of CSI and Law & Order respectively, call him for glasses for their shows.