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Don’t Sleep On Gen Z

Globally focused, visually engaged, educationally transformed, socially defined, this hybrid generation is the next big thing.




Take the consumerism of Boomers, the independence of Gen X, the social consciousness of Millennials and add in a dependence on all things technology ­­— and how quickly it moves — and you might start to understand Gen Z.

Dr. William To, Optical Illusions

These Centennials — the generation born at the turn of the century between 1997 and 2012, aged approximately 8 to 23 years old — started using smart devices before they could even walk. Technology is integrated seamlessly into their lives, part of their DNA, it is in their homes, their education and their way of socializing. Because of this, they are often also referred to as “Technoholics” because they are entirely dependent on IT. 


Estimates suggest that today there are 2.4 billion Centennials as compared to 2 billion Millennials. This slightly larger post-Millennial generation also gives more of a voice to social causes on the internet. They champion acceptance, inclusivity, body positivity, gender neutrality and feminism. Most importantly, they are savvy consumers; they know what they want and how to get it, and they are oversaturated with brands.

“Gen Z is using their eyes in different ways and have visual demands like no other generation before. Don’t judge their lifestyles and their trends. Engage and educate instead,” says Dr. William To of Optical Illusions in San Mateo, CA.

Danielle Crull, A Child’s Eyes

“You need to have a conversation,” agrees Danielle Crull of A Child’s Eyes in Mechanicsburg, PA. “The last thing you want is for the patient or their parents to go home and read about something that you should have talked about. Honestly, it doesn’t matter where you fall on the issues, but this generation can look things up in the car before they even leave your parking lot. And if they just saw you and you never bothered to mention something about blue light, or ultra-violet light, or anti-reflective or photochromics, or anti-fatigue (if it applies) then you will lose their trust completely.”

Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy Kids

Drs. Iwona and Jonathan Dong of See Saw Eyecare in Kent, WA, point out this has an additional benefit of making choices easier on the parent. “Parents have a lot on their plates, and anything you can do to help make it easier on them will be appreciated. Show parents that their kid or teen’s wellbeing is of the utmost importance to you, and give their kid a fantastic experience.” 

Furthermore, the parents of this generation are no slouches themselves when it comes to internet aptitude. “The kids and parents of this generation are very into internet shopping and internet as a source of information,” adds Paula Hornbeck of Eye Candy Kids in Delafield, WI. “First of all, you should have a great website. Keep it current and engaging. The same with social media. These will both be sources for potential clients to find you.” She does have a warning though. “On the flip side, be prepared to discuss the down side of buying kids’ glasses online. Why it’s so important to have them properly fitted and adjusted.”


Successful Ways to Market to Gen Z … et al.

All of our marketing materials and events are family-friendly by design! We want parents to get the sense that this is a great place to bring their families, and we deliver on that experience. Families feel great when they come to our office and there is a little something for everyone. Kids love our toybox, parents love our coffee bar. Focus on caring on their health first and foremost, and then have fun with the rest of it.
Drs. Iwona and Jonathan Dong, See Saw Eyecare

We have seasonal marketing campaigns to educate the parents and children on the importance of annual eye exams and myopia management. We often take advantage of holidays throughout the year like World Sight Day and National Children’s Health Day to post on social media and send out fun infographics. We send out information on the social programs and charities we are involved in and ways for them to participate.
Dr. William To, Optical Illusions

Every year we have a prescription sunglass sale which is very popular. We offer 50 percent off prescription lenses. We sell most of our sunglasses in a two week time period. Also, during our anniversary celebration, we give the kids an opportunity to design our cleaning cloths for the next year. We pick a few winners and make up the cloths. The families love seeing their designs on a cleaning cloth. 
Danielle Crull, A Child’s Eyes

For the past several years we’ve had a week long Buy One Get One Free Eye Candy Kids event in July. Buy one complete pair of frame and lenses from our kids collection and get the second pair of equal or lesser value free. We do a lot of marketing: radio, social media, eblast, etc.  And have found that July is a good time as it’s well after school is out for the summer but before the big back to school shopping starts.   
Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy Kids




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