The Sunglasses Market is just a tiny fraction of that market at a $16 billion dollar size (Just sunglasses not eyewear) and is expected to grow to a whopping $20 billion dollar industry by 2026.
Just in the US alone in 2020 the sunglasses market saw sales of $4.6 Billion during the pandemic. source: statista.com
This is the first market we’re tackling, the Sunglasses space it’s mainly dominated by brand names.
That would be our golden peak of success, to establish ourselves as a brand and not as a one-of trendy item.
We’re not aiming for the high end of Kering (Gucci, Balenciaga, etc, etc) nor the cheaper alternatives (Heatwave, Warby Parker, Quay, etc..) we’re aiming for the premium end side of things like RayBan, & Oakley in terms of pricing and category. Not niche! if I were to categorize our brand or at least our initial products, we fall into the fun// party premium sunglasses. I would love to expand this into other realms like eyewear and just fashionable sunglasses. But for now, we're currently building fun and unique sunglasses.
Meanwhile, our designs are very different from what we see in the current market. Once we hit market, I know we will establish an image and a name for ourselves.
So here’s what I think:
I think this is a very realistic take given the market size, the product and our approach.
The Branding (meaning long-term) will come more into realization depending on the team, traction, and how we scale.
I worked on the lenses and funded most of it’s inception from my own funds.
being that this is the biggest differentiator from our competitors I put in all my focus on it.
Now what I’m really missing is finding the right frames, casing, and shipment options, plus the patent and distribution contract.
which is why you see only 12% allocated to Engineering// Design and Manufacturing.
This is also one of the reasons why I can still run this project even if only 25% of the collection is sold, if this happens to be the case, I'll top off some other funds through my own venues and/ or through investors, since marketing is such a huge part of this project in specific.
This is where I want to go hard on! for 2 years now, I've been engaged in this space talking to business owners and sales people, eyewear designers.
And known established brands don't really have to go out of there way to make sales, since most people already know their brands, and search them up themselves.
some going as far to say that 30% of their sales come up from just google searches, another 20-30% would go directly to the site and other sales coming mainly from retail stores.
This is not us yet! but it could be! idealistically, if you make enough noise and have a big enough presence people will know who you are. And your audience, in this case Market will see who you are, and if they like your "vibe" is what I like to call it, and your product, then you have a customer! Sunglasses are a interesting kind of item to sell, because they fall into the fine line of Need & Wants. On Sunny Days we could say you need sunglasses to protect you from the sun, beach, outing, baseball game, music festival, etc etc. But most sunglasses provide the right protection from UV rays from the sun, so looking at things from a utility stand point solely, there's no real difference between a pair of $20 sunglasses at CVS and $120 RayBans, except in design. So the design is the want, and the utility is the need.
I'm not going to divulge my plans for marketing here, since I know what I want to do, who I'm selling too, and what strategies I want to implement. And I think it's best to work on this things under closed doors, so we don't hurt our chances with overly stretched hype and whatnot.
Now the patent is a strategic move from our side, just allowing us to dominate a market with ease for some time, and to allow us to have some bargaining power in case of an exit. There's not much to say about this matter, I just think it's a strategic move to ensure or at least increase our odds of being able to move on in case we need too or is best to do so.
The inspiration actually came from watching and listening to cosplayers. I love conversations, and you might realize that most of the inspirations I've gathered till today have come from having beautiful conversations with people.
I spoke to many cosplayers who'd tell me things like "I can feel like myself behind my costume". "I feel free when I wear these clothes". "it's like I'm playing a persona, or alter ego and I can be who I really want to be".
and I realized something, I remember the saying "Give a man a mask and he'll show you his true self" and I thought there was something extremely empowering about this message. And we can see that online a whole bunch, we see that forums that offer anonymity sometimes are just filled with the weirdest things ever XD. I myself tried this and I thought of an old YouTuber "FilthyFrank", (but also "BeastMaster64", "JonTron") who would be completely different from his usual self, once he was in his "costume" or "character" per say. I myself tried this a few times while I was recording myself to get rid of my camera shyness and awkwardness, and I quickly realized how powerful it felt just to put something on, and have that "Placebo" but not really, it was more than that, it was a scapegoat, an image, a new trait. It was a message! you can judge me while I'm wearing this, and that's fine. But That's is not who I am, that's just who I want to be in that moment! and I realized Sunglasses did this, but they did this in a "Don't fuck with me!" way, they did it in an authoritative way, and yes there are sunglasses that project a more fun vibe to it. And that's kind of the emotion I wanted to go for on some of my designs, I wanted to go for a casual tone, I wanted to go for a I'm here to party tone, some of my designs I just wanted to have an unique and artistic tone. And I think they do just that!
I built these sunglasses because I wanted to convey this feelings, and I wanted to give people this feeling as well, which I think is freeing in lots of ways, probably childish in some, but I think it's mainly empowering to those who can see it.