Practice Building launches spectacle design competition
The company aims to provide “a bit of fun” to help independent practices support their customers through the coronavirus lockdown
01 April 2020
Practice Building has launched a competition to help independent practices keep in touch with clients and provide a creative outlet during the isolation period established to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Design Some Specs competition encourages people to design a pair of frames onto a set of illustrated models; from work or casual spectacles, to sunglasses or ‘crazy specs.’
Lucy Clark, studio manager for Practice Building, told OT: “We support independent opticians across the UK and Ireland, and we are very aware that at the moment they can’t see their clients. When all this is over, we know there will be a lot of people who haven’t had their routine eye checks who will need to be seen, and who could potentially go somewhere else.”
She highlighted that the competition could help to maintain loyalty, adding: “We felt that customers need to know their opticians are there for them and at the end of this they can go straight back to them.”
At the end of the isolation period, frame designers FEB31st will pick a winning design from each category to turn into a pair of frames for the winner. The frame will also be added to the company’s collection, to be sold worldwide and named after the designer.
Originally, the competition was only due to have one winner, but OT can reveal that this has been extended as a result of the growing interest from practices and their customers.
Over 30 opticians have already downloaded the competition kits and both Practice Building and FEB31st have seen a “huge amount of people interested.”
“I can’t thank FEB31st enough for their support,” Ms Clark said.
She explained: “They have agreed that instead of just one winner we’re going to have a winner for all four different categories, which makes the total prize £2800.”
This period is so stressful and everyone is in the same boat so it’s important everyone sticks together
Practice Building hopes the competition will give optometrists a way to talk to customers through the isolation period and continue building relationships.
“For opticians, the competition provides a way to talk to customers and builds the relationships without it being about sales. This period is so stressful and everyone is in the same boat so it’s important everyone sticks together,” Ms Clark explained, adding: “This will give practices the ability to talk to all of their customers, not just those who have an emergency.”
Commenting on the benefits for patients, Ms Clark explained: “Everyone needs a bit of time to switch off and get creative, and it does support their mental health to spend time with family and have some fun.”
She added: “People who have already joined in have said how great it is to have their families getting back to pen and paper and spending creative time with them. Some people have even used glitter.”
Independent practices can download the kits from the Practice Building website, including letters with competition rules.
Discussing the impact that the COVID-19 outbreak has had on independent opticians, Ms Clark said: “At the beginning of this period everyone was in shock for a couple of days, and understandably some of our clients felt panicked, but within a few days we had created plans with them. And now they are in a better place. We have definitely seen a turn towards the positive.”
Outlining Practice Building’s position, Ms Clark explained: “We want to make sure that at the end of all this there is a market for us to work with. It’s not about us making money at the moment, which is why we’re offering all these free resources, and have set up the Practice Building hotline for anyone needing someone to talk to.”
Lucy Clark from Practice Building shares her tips for maintaining communication with patients
- Telephone recall is going to be very important when practices reopen again
- Keeping in touch through social media campaigns like this competition is helpful. It provides a bit of fun and builds conversations that are not about sales at a time when customers need to know that there is someone there for them who understands
- When there is so much in the news that is negative, if practices can share something light-hearted, that will make a big difference to everyone’s mental health and keep everyone more positive.