When I speak to optical entrepreneurs, they often tell me that a lot of energy has to be put into putting together a good commercial mass-appeal collection. After all, a good commercial collection ensures the viability of the company you run.
But what makes a collection commercial? Is it a rectangular line, a standard panto? Round shapes without empathy? “Black hole” black, “toilet seat” brown or forty-nine shades of gray? The problem with the concept of a commercial collection is that when it really is commercial, it’s most likely already on display at that chain around the corner. In the most classical sense of the word, a collection that is really commercial is just like FOX News. Nobody wants to look at it, but when the curtains are closed and the soundproof doors are closed, at least half the country tunes in to look at Tucker Carlson or The Ingraham Angle. Commercial frames are the FOX & Friends of the world of optics.
Looking at this, I understand that so many optical entrepreneurs choose to carry these type of commercial collections. Because if your customers watch FOX & Friends, they can certainly be persuaded t0 buy a commercial frame. But how distinctive are you, dear reader, if you have the same “Tucker Carlson” on display, as your neighbor that has towering margins and lower prices. Commercial collections are not a frame of the “famous” brands, it is not a frame with a thirteen thousand in a dozen design, not even the frames that sell themselves. And yes, I can already see you pulling the hair out of your head, shouting at this column; “Ferdinand, that’s the definition of commercial!!!”
Just no, no and again no, not if it’s up to me!
Commercial does not start with the frame. I always thought that in a conservative village in the center of the Bible Belt, brands such as Anne et Valentin, Hoet and Rigards wouldn’t sell, would be too obstinate to be commercial. But with enthusiasm for the brand, its story and the frames themselves, they have become the most commercial frames of the store. Commercial starts with you, you can determine whether something is commercial. All you need is the conviction to do it, to be stubborn and, above all, to be deaf to all well-intended advice from colleagues. Follow your heart, follow your eyes, follow your dreams … Don’t be tempted to allow “Tucker Carlson” into your store… The most beautiful frames still come from designers who do something out of love and passion, instead of purely for profit.
You decide which frame lines are commercial, not Tucker Carlson!