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Full Steam Ahead

This Michigan practice reinvented itself in 2021 with a new name, brand and building… and hasn’t looked back.

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Full Circle Vision Care, Midland, MI

OWNERS: Drs. Carl Erickson and Paul Kimball; URL: fullcirclevisioncare.com; FACEBOOK: facebook.com/FullCircleVisionCare; INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/full.circle.vision.care; FOUNDED: 1960s; Opened featured location: 2021; AREA: 5,620 sq. ft.; Buildout cost: $1.85M; ARCHITECT AND DESIGN FIRMS: Optometric Architects; TOP BRANDS: Bausch & Lomb, CooperVision, Maui Jim, NikeVision, STATE; EMPLOYEES: 13 full-time, 1 part-time


Dr. Carl Erickson and Dr. Paul Kimball

Dr. Carl Erickson and Dr. Paul Kimball

FOUNDED IN THE 1960s, Full Circle Vision Care has had four owners and changed names and locations over the years, but current owners Drs. Carl Erickson and Paul Kimball are proudly maintaining its legacy of caring for patients’ whole-eye health, a commitment that according to Kimball remains the “overall driving force of the practice.”

In 2021, Full Circle rebuilt from the ground up, opening a brand-new building on its existing location in July of that year. According to Erickson it was important to everyone at Full Circle that the updated building pay tribute to the history of Midland, a family-oriented community in central Michigan’s Greater Tri-Cities area. “One way that we were able to do that was by incorporating brick walls throughout the office as a nod to not only Saginaw brick but also one of the features in the previous space that our practice enjoyed.”

Erickson and Kimball also wanted to keep the mid-century modern feel that is so popular in the Midland area but put their own spin on it by mixing in industrial elements, cool lighting, a beautiful optical lounge and fun patterns throughout the space. It’s an environment that lends itself to browsing Full Circle’s eyewear selection, which Kimball says leans towards “casual and chic frames in a variety of styles and colors.”

When it comes to the patient experience, Full Circle’s philosophy is to provide the highest standard of care while making the patient’s journey as simple and streamlined as possible. Says Erickson, “When you come in for your first appointment, an optometrist will chat with you about your current situation and perform a few tests to assess your eye health. Once we have the full picture, our team will provide the best possible solutions for your lifestyle and situation. Finally, we will provide you with ongoing support to ensure your vision is at its best year after year.”

This Michigan Practice Revamped Its Look and Location While Preserving a Decades-Old Commitment to Top-Level Service

The practice utilizes the StoryBrand framework in every aspect of its marketing to ‘make the customer the hero’.

Utilizing the latest technology to test not only vision and eye health, but also overall health, is a cornerstone of the service that has been provided at the practice dating back to the days when it was known as Midland Eye Associates.

One of Full Circle’s main initiatives in recent years has been a renewed focus on marketing based on the StoryBrand framework, a popular marketing messaging tool pioneered by the company of the same name that has been adopted by many businesses. Its aim is to allow organizations to clarify their message using a seven-part process that leverages the power of story. According to Kimball, the system has worked for Full Circle. “Our marketing is not about us. Most businesses go on and on about how great they are and the customer/patient gets missed. Through implementing StoryBrand in every aspect of our marketing, we have made the customer the hero in the story and not our brand.” The approach extends to the practice’s online presence. “From every social media post to every word on our website, and from our recall system to referral programming, we position our practice as a guide that can help patients find high-quality care.”

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Internally, the co-owners emphasize team bonding, scheduling regular experiences outside of the office to allow the team to get to know each other.

All in all it’s been a busy and rewarding 18 months for Drs. Erickson and Kimball and their team, with a rebrand and remodel. Says Erickson: “We couldn’t be more pleased and believe this will allow us to better serve our patients moving forward.”

This Michigan Practice Revamped Its Look and Location While Preserving a Decades-Old Commitment to Top-Level Service

Throughout Full Circle Vision Care’s interiors, co-owners Drs. Carl Erickson and Paul Kimball have put their own spin on the mid-century modern feel that is so popular in the Midland area.

Five Cool Things About Full Circle Vision Care

1. TRIBUTE. The pattern of the optical’s carpet is based on the exterior of the Midland Center for the Arts building by famous local architect Alden B. Dow.

2. HELPING HAND. While studying, Dr. Kimball took optometric mission trips to Dominican Republic, Colombia and Mexico, helping over 3,000 people.

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3. MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS PRIVILEGES. The practice offers its own vision plan, with individual and family plans available to “Full Circle Members.”

4. RESOURCES. To simplify things for patients, Full Circle’s website includes an Eye Health Library, a clearly organized collection of blogs on a range of eyecare topics and including an Eyecare Glossary.

5. NEW OFFERING. Full Circle has begun offering Neurolens, Rx lenses to treat headaches, neck/shoulder pain and eyestrain. Patient feedback has been great, Kimball says.

PHOTO GALLERY (16 IMAGES)

JUDGES’ COMMENTS
  • Jenn Denham, Director of Growth Marketing, Optify, Salt Lake City, UT :Full Circle Vision Care’s nod to the local Midland history with brick accent and an industrial lounge feel in the optical department provides a feeling of comfort and trust. I have to tip my hat to the team for implementing StoryBrand’s marketing framework as a guide to ensure the patients are seen as the hero in their eyecare journey.
  • David Duralde, Chief Creative Officer, OGI Eyewear, Minneapolis, MN :It’s clear that the patients’ needs are at the center of this practice with the team’s whole approach to total eyecare and frame styling.
  • Jan Ennis, President/CEO, Ennco Display Group, Redmond, WA: I appreciated the owners’ regard for both the brick and history of the Arts building. The texture adds to a warm and calming feeling that I am certain puts patients at ease.

 

Fine Story

The past year-and-a-half has been particularly exciting for Full Circle. To start with, as the owners of the practice — then known as Midland Eye Associates — began to think about a rebrand, they desired a name that fit with what they were doing. Says Kimball, “Our new name, Full Circle Vision Care, both fits with our location on the circle in Midland while also completely aligning with our vision to look out for every patient’s whole eye health. This was followed by the development of an all-new look, website and building.”

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