Warby Parker Co-Founder & Co-CEO Answers 4 Questions for Marketing Innovators
Dave Gilboa, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Warby Parker, will address these
- What is one marketing topic that is most important to you as an innovator?
- Why is this so important?
- How will the customer experience be improved by this?
- How will this improve the effectiveness of marketing?
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Dave Gilboa is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Warby Parker, a transformative lifestyle brand offering designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially-conscious businesses.
Prior to launching Warby Parker in 2010, Dave was an Associate at merchant bank Allen & Company and, earlier, served as Special Assistant to the Founder and CEO of the TriZetto Group and has held strategy and business development roles at Genomic Health and Crescendo Bioscience. Dave has worked extensively with non-profit organizations, and serves as a founding member of the Entrepreneur Board of Venture for America, an organization dedicated to mobilizing graduates as entrepreneurs in low-cost cities.
1. What is one marketing topic that is most important to you as an innovator?
Introducing unexpected and fun elements that drive word of mouth. A recent example of this came in the form of our "Make-Your-Own-Annual Report," which enabled customers to generate their very own annual report. It was a really fun tool and led to us becoming a trending topic on Twitter. A lot of annual reports tend to read a bit stodgy because they focus so heavily on financial data, so we wanted to go in a completely different direction when we started releasing them in 2011. Instead of solely talking about our business, we talk about our customers, our employees, and our office which, we think, is a lot more interesting to read than our financial records.
We also like to surprise customers in stores. During the holidays we introduced the Wheel of Good Omens, which was a giant wheel that customers could spin to win prizes. They could walk away with a Warby Parker FIY (fold-it-yourself ) fortune teller, treats, and more. (Everyone was a winner).
Another unexpected element is our surprise-and-delight campaign, which, as you can probably guess, surprises our customers with a wide variety of gifts. Recently, we sent out custom chocolate bars that commemorated the 50th anniversary of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
There is also our @warbyparkerhelp YouTube channel, which allows our employees to respond to customers' tweets with videos, which we think creates a more meaningful, personal interaction. Sometimes you need more than 140 characters.
2. Why is this so important?
As a startup, we will never have the marketing budget or resources to compete against the massive companies in our industry. In a David vs. Goliath scenario, it is not brute force that wins the battle, but creativity and being able to leverage unique capabilities and assets. We have an incredibly creative team, so one of our core values is to inject fun and quirkiness into everything we do. We leverage this as our unfair advantage instead of competing with dollars.
3. How will the customer experience be improved by this?
Consumers love having stories to tell at dinner parties or around the water cooler and, increasingly, to share on social media. Our hope is to bring brand elements to life in interesting ways that are remarkable enough to share.
4. How will this improve the effectiveness of marketing?
The best brands drive word of mouth, which serves as a multiplier effect for every marketing dollar spent.
What is your favorite activity outside of work?
I grew up by the beach in San Diego and still love any opportunity to jump in an ocean. Swimming, surfing, kitesurfing, paddleboarding, scuba diving, etc. You name it, I'll be there.