At home with...

A sense of belonging can bring customer loyalty, which, of course has many benefits

A frog at home

This week I got the chance to take a sneak peak at Ted Baker’s next season’s product offering, including the latest range of eyewear that is produced for the brand by Mondottica.

At the first ‘open house’ press event that the fashion brand has held for a number of years, I stepped out of a hotel lift into a suite that had been transformed into a one-stop Ted Baker shop – well penthouse.

As well as its latest eyewear, which had been placed strategically close to books and on sidetables around the lounge-come-dining-room, study and bedroom, the brand’s clothing, stationary, homeware and much more was displayed, providing those taking a guided tour with a feel for the brand’s identity. The way the rooms had been ‘dressed’ ensured that every viewer – male, female, young or old – would identify with the brand.

Cleverly it made you feel like you were buying into a lifestyle rather than a product. Why just purchase your eyewear from a brand you like and trust, if you can buy your clothing, footwear, dinnerware, luggage, and so on from the brand too?

For large companies and big brands, this is something that is easily achievable – the optics market is flooded with the likes of Oakley and Adidas, to French Connection and Cath Kidston, and everything in between.

However, there is an emerging number of new High Street opticians that are tackling this from another angle. For eyewear brand Hook Ldn, which opened up its first shop earlier this month, it is to create a lifestyle that appeals to its customers, capitalising on its roots in the music industry.

This is certainly something that the co-founder of Kite Eyewear also shared a focus for when speaking to OT last year – at the time the company was working towards hosting regular evening talks and events at its design studio in Soho to help build a ‘Kite’ community and ethos.

What could you do to help create a sense of belonging and community with your patient base?