By Preston Fassel
At our office, it seemed to me that the year was divided into seasons—not spring, summer, fall and winter, but Tax Season (post-income taxes—use your returns to buy new glasses); Doldrum Season (post-Christmas—no money to buy glasses); HSA Season (December—spend your flex money on glasses); Back-to-School Season; and so on. What surprised me was how hardly delineated our Summer Season and Back-to-School Seasons were.
There were parents, who brought their kids in for eye exams over the summer, but they weren’t in any greater numbers than the rest of the year, and there were virtually no first time exams. Entire families seemed pretty well segregated to Back-to-School Season. Looking back, maybe we should have been more proactive in marketing to families during the summer, because there was a phenomenon going on that I never noticed until now: Those kids who popped up in the summer almost always left with sunglasses.
It makes sense. During the summer, multiple factors coalesce to make sunwear more appealing to consumers in general and parents in particular. There are vacations; kids are spending more time outdoors; it’s camp season; and for most of the U.S., summer just means it’s hotter and brighter more of the time. Throw all of those factors into a blender and what do you get? A great big order for a pair of sunglasses with extra polarization, please.