Doing Well By Doing Good
This week on Find the Red Thread, Tamsen looks at Warby Parker to show us a great example of a Red Thread being used to its best effect.
It all starts with the question, “Who am I for?” Warby Parker has narrowed that down with glasses are low price, high design, and that benefit someone in need when you make a purchase.
Working backward from Warby Parker’s target audience, we can look at their about page to see how each step of the Red Thread lands with that audience. If you’re looking for inspiration for your pitch, take a look at how this company that “does well by doing good” crafts a message that resonates.
- Warby Parker’s History page
- The Mistake That Turned Warby Parker Into an Overnight Legend
- The Red Thread Worksheet
– What can online glasses company Warby Parker teach you? Quite a lot if you follow their Red Thread. I’m Tamsen Webster of TamsenWebster.com and that’s what we’re talking about this week on Find the Red Thread.
If you’re not already familiar with Warby Parker, the online glasses company, there’s a few things you should know. First, they’ve got great looking glasses, at least in my opinion and I’ve been wearing glasses since I was in third grade so I have a lot of opinions on this. The second is that those glasses are not that expensive. Frames and lenses included are only about $100, and if you’ve been wearing glasses as long as I have you know that’s pretty rare. Third thing you should know is that for every pair of glasses that you buy from Warby Parker they give a pair to someone in need.
This is not a paid advertisement. I’m just a huge fan of Warby Parker and I have been for a very long time, but it’s a company like that that has this very focused understanding, that’s a company that really represents a Red Thread being used to its best effect. If you think about it, when you start to look for those pieces of the Red Thread, they’ve got a very clear idea of who they’re for. That’s a pretty succinct group of factors that are included in low price, high design and I want to make sure that somebody else benefits from my purchase.
So, how do we characterize the goal statement of the Red Thread? In this case, I would describe it as people that want to feel good about seeing well. That’s their customer’s goal. They want to see well. They also want to look good while doing it, but they want to feel good about it. There’s lots of barriers to that.
Typically glasses are super expensive or if they’re not super expensive they’re super ugly. So, okay, what’s the real problem that Warby Parker identified? They describe it right on their about page of their website, which is that the real problem is that there’s one big corporation that controls most of the eyeglasses market around the world; which means that if you want to look good you’re gonna not only spend a lot of money, but that money is going to a big corporation; and for the customers, for their audience, the people whom they’re really for, that’s going to run counter to some of those core values. And that’s where the idea comes in because Warby Parker has a lot of core values (and this is typical when you see an about page or a pitch or something like that where a company presents several core values), but I could sum it all up with the statement that they want to do well by doing good; that the best way to serve those whom they’re for is to serve them and their values well.
So, what change does that represent? The change that Warby Parker takes in the marketplace is to cut out the middleman wherever possible, and the actions, the way that they do that, all sorts of things. They make sure that they, for instance, design in-house and that they get feedback direct from the customers. They also sell direct to their customers. They sell in their own stores and they sell online. And, rather than pull themselves away from a core competence of designing and selling glasses, they make sure that they partner with an organization to get those glasses to those in need.
The best part about all this, you can see this Red Thread described beautifully on their about page that I already mentioned. There’s a wonderful statement up top about what it is and then you’ll see them walk through a Red Thread storyline. What was the goal? What was the problem? What are those core beliefs? What are the things that they do differently and how do they sum it all up at the end?
So, when you’re looking for inspiration for crafting your own Red Thread, take a look at Warby Parker and then go to findyourredthread.com and download your free Red Thread worksheet. If you want to know more about how to fill that out or have me come to your organization to help your organization develop your own Red Thread, contact me at TamsenWebster.com/contact.