• Nicole Lisson

Think You're Stakeholder Centric? Warby Parker Sets a New Standard

Updated: May 11, 2021

I love what Warby Parker is doing.

They disrupted an industry by introducing fashionable eyeglasses online – met their first year's sales goals in the first 3 weeks of operation.

For every pair you buy, they give a pair to someone living in poverty who needs glasses (there are 1 billion such people) – and guess what? They care about fashion too. In fact, the company was founded on the insight that even people living on $4/day or less will choose to ‘stay blind rather than wear something unfashionable on their face'. Watch these short INC videos – they're well worth your time.

Sure, they have a social mission, but they understand that their core promise is fashion – delivered sustainably for all their Stakeholders. They understand their ecosystem.

And it gets better. They understand the drivers of value: they know their leading indicators are culture and people. They hire based on personality and fit; one of their 6 questions in job interviews was, ”What was the last costume you wore?” They populate Customer Service with smart native speakers, and empower them to take care of customers as they see fit. They believed the cost of that would offset by greatly reduced marketing costs – and they were right.

Marketing? They believe in making people feel connected: they published a new kind of ‘annual report' showing what they did the prior year in terms of customer responses and engagement. Immediately they had their highest sales ever – in January, right after Christmas – higher than the days following their appearances on CBS news or the NY Times.

Think you're Stakeholder Centric? These folks set a new standard.

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