You hear this question tossed around a lot in the realm of entrepreneurship.

“Is there a particular insight or secret that you know to be true that few would agree with you?”

This insight or secret eventually becomes the company.

For the case of Warby Parker, there were a few things that they thought was wrong with the eyewear market.

  • Nobody seemed to be innovating
  • More could be done for the consumer

Valued at $1.75 billion (as of Mar’18), it seems they were right- but it didn’t always seem that way. The eyewear market was extremely competitive in 2010, and they knew it required them to be different


A Different Positioning Statement

Even with the exact same product features, consumers gravitate to the towards how you position the product in their minds. There were many reasons to love Warby Parker…

  • They were the underdogs fighting against a monopoly
  • Their social mission
  • The dedication to keeping their prices affordable


Something resonated amongst their loyal fans and word spread. You have to figure that out for your business as well. Why do people choose you? Are you the only one selling sweatpants? Or are you the only one who sells sweatpants for men who want a comfortable pair to sleep in. Very different target audience.

A Different Experience in Shopping

They sell their glasses online yet still have over 100 physical locations. Why? Because they know to look at the point of purchase as an experiential journey of building rapport, not a single transaction.


Warby Parker is in the glasses industry. Something that you have to try on and feel before purchasing. They understood this inherently and they used their physical locations to build an experience around something with them. It sounds cliche but by building trust early with their initial fans, these fans propagated that trust to their friends and so on and so forth.

  • Without trust:
    • Will this retailer give me a refund if this product sucks?
    • Should I bother taking the risk?
  • With trust:
    • I know this retailer well. Which design do I like?

Naturally, this insight also gave Warby Parker a unique pricing advantage because they can quantitatively justify the cost of acquiring and retaining customers.



Focusing on your business. Given all the interactions you’ve had with your shoppers, do you know something about them that your competition doesn’t?


  • What do they feel before shopping with you?
  • How do they feel after?
  • Why is that?

These are the most difficult questions to answer, but these three simple questions are what separates Apple from every other manufacturer who is equally qualified to make a phone.

Posted by:Fu Fei

Data Geek, Passionate about enabling entrepreneurship Figuring out how to gamify retail operations Twitter: @SymbolOfFlight

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