October 19, 2020
Britta Walter, Head of Marketing (ad interim), Rodenstock
On the occasion of the international trade fair opti 2020, the German lens manufacturer Rodenstock presented a new corporate philosophy: B.I.G. VISION™ FOR ALL – Biometric Intelligent Glasses™, initiating what the company describes as ‘a paradigm shift in individual progressive lenses’. As Germany was easing out of lockdown, we spoke to Britta Walter, Head of Marketing (ad interim) about the current outlook and how this new direction has affected the present and the future in the German market and beyond.
Q: The last months have been extremely dramatic. How has Rodenstock responded to the COVID-19 crisis and has the company been able to remain active?
A: Rodenstock was affected by the crisis, in the same way as many other competitors and industries. Therefore, setting-up the initiative #strongertogether, helping our partner opticians to survive the challenging times well, was one key focus. Free-of-charge webinars and marketing materials supported opticians to remain active – with great success.
Q: What have been the key implications to date and is the company now able to operate in a more normal way and respond to customer needs?
A: The corona pandemic led to a temporary sharp drop in sales – due to a significant lower purchasing level worldwide. However, business is now recovering faster than expected, especially in Germany.
Q: Rodenstock had presented the world’s first biometric intelligent glasses at OPTI based on a complete biometric eye model. Can you summarise the launch of this development.
A: On the occasion of the international trade fair opti 2020, Rodenstock presented a new corporate philosophy: B.I.G. VISION™ FOR ALL – Biometric Intelligent Glasses™, initiating a paradigm shift in individual progressive lenses.
“At Rodenstock, we determine the biometrics of the whole eye. This includes its length and several thousand data points in the eye – far beyond industry standards. All relevant biometric data which are determined by the combination of the DNEye® scanner with patented technologies are integrated directly into the lens, orchestrating a construction process which results in the world’s most precise lens. This biometric eye model enables Rodenstock to precisely hit the sharp vision centre of every individual eye.
Q: How does this innovation change the wearer’s experience with progressives? What are the main benefits?
A: This ultimately provides consumers with the sharpest vision possible at any angle or with every gaze, both in the glasses’ peripheral zones and at distances from mid, near and far.
B.I.G. Vision delivers up to 40% sharper vision at near and intermediate distances and an 8.5° wider field of sharp vision at near. When asked about their experience with Biometric Intelligent Glasses in a Swiss study, a high percentage of users experienced a wide-range of benefits to their vision. For example, 88% of participants noticed greater visual comfort with their DNEye glasses compared to their old glasses. 92% experienced sharper vision than before, 84% experienced better contrast vision, and 87% experienced reduced adaption time, according to Rodenstock.
Q: Have you been able to launch the advertising programme to support this new breakthrough in Germany. And in other countries in Europe?
A: Having introduced B.I.G. VISION™ FOR ALL at the opti fair in January to an international audience, several advertising activities followed during the first weeks and months in 2020, e.g. ads and supplements in trade magazines in Germany. Due to the shut down of many opticians’ stores the local advertising paused but is being implemented and executed again from June onwards – with direct mailings, local online advertising and a special decoration at the shops.
The same applies for many other European countries.
Q: What is Rodenstock’s key focus for the next months?
A: Rodenstock will be focusing on all product- and communication related topics regarding B.I.G. VISION™ FOR ALL – Biometric Intelligent Glasses™.