Having an eye for business

By Bill WirtzLex Kleren

The Italian brand Luxottica is the biggest market player in its field. Having accumulated large parts of an essential medical device, where does that leave small companies and actors in the optician business?

For many people, putting their glasses on in the morning is literally (for once using this word in its intended meaning) the first thing they do. The helplessness of not seeing is anxiety-inducing, as any glasses user will confirm. Losing or breaking them is an ordeal, which involves time and money. Fortunately, the glasses market is not stale, there are a myriad of brands and colours to choose from, designed to give each person their individual style and theme. Could you imagine Jean-Claude Juncker without glasses?

A politician’s choice of glasses is no mere fashion, it often indicates strategy, often for rebranding. Karl-Theodor von Guttenberg, former German federal defence, had famously made his use of glasses into a national story after leaving office following a plagiarism scandal. The Bavarian politician had ceased his use of eyeglasses in an effort to rebrand. The German parliament is traditionally composed of numerous PhD holders, thus making glasses “on brand”, yet after having been shown to plagiarise his PhD thesis, Guttenberg attempted to appear down-to-earth, ditching glasses.

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