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Looking to Appeal to a More Creative Clientele? Here’s How It’s Done

This Chicago optical’s in-house branding effort is confident and consistent.

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THE BASIC AIM of owner Alissa Fields’ branding effort at Eye Spy Optical in Chicago, IL, she says, is to convey a fun and colorful look that reflects her eyewear collections and the feeling in her shop. The prominence of her feline-in-eyewear logo, which has a vaguely retro animation vibe, and confident combination of a custom font (hand-drawn by a local designer) with liberal use of a cool magenta-and-teal color combo give her branding a fully achieved feel.

Eye Spy Optical’s core demographic is mid-30s to mid-50s, but rather than targeting an age group, she says, “I target my creative customers. We have many customers that like to be different, stand out from the crowd, and have their own style. When I produce my lookbooks, I try to convey this feeling.” Fields selects all promotional items, finds the suppliers and designs the graphics herself using Adobe Illustrator.

The font and colors in Eye Spy’s logo recur in ads and peripheral material and throughout the store. “I put my logo on everything, but I try to not make it too obnoxious,” she says.

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Branded items include stickers pasted inside eyeglass cases, custom cleaning cloths and spray bottles, thank-you cards, buttons, temporary tattoos, felt wine bags, reusable cotton bags, pocket mirrors, lip balm, matchbooks and more. Some are produced specifically for a store event or customer mailing, others to be given away daily. “I like to have themes for our events, and that also helps me decide what to produce,” Fields says. She’s even got decals on her vehicle and her vintage airstream trailer.

A committed environmentalist, when producing marketing materials and giveaways Fields puts a lot of thought — “probably too much” — into how much the giveaway will actually be used, where and how it is produced and how long it will last.

She advises ECPs to choose a logo that works well in different colors, applications and sizes, and to keep your look consistent; in her 20 years in business she’s updated the logo only once. When coming up with promotional items, she says, select items you’ll use regularly and would like to have for yourself. “Do not create junk to give away, if you are selling a luxury product,” she says, “and have fun!”

Front and Center: ‘I put my logo on everything’ says Eye Spy Optical owner Alissa Fields, ‘but I try not to make it too obnoxious.’

Versatility is Key
Fields advises ECPs to choose a logo that works well in different sizes, colors and applications.

DIY: Fields designs the graphics used in her branding herself using Adobe Illustrator.

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Going Mobile: Eye Spy Optical decals even grace Fields’ vintage Airstream trailer.

In the Bag: A magenta felt wine bag with the Eye Spy Optical logo.

Creative Collaboration: Fields will occasionally enlist outside help. The font used on this bag was created by a local designer.

Buttons & Boxes: Branded items include stickers, cleaning cloths and spray bottles, thank-you cards, buttons, temporary tattoos, felt wine bags, reusable cotton bags, pocket mirrors, lip balm, matchbooks and more.

After years covering some of the farther flung corners of the world of business journalism, Heath has more recently focused on covering the efforts of independent eyecare professionals to negotiate a fast-changing industry landscape. Contact him at [email protected]

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