CHALLENGE – Growing the Market
Serving as the national voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the eye health industry. It is a member-driven organization that strives to advance the industry through education, advocacy, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building, and industry forums.
All members agreed on the importance of eye exams, however, great fragmentation existed when it came to communicating this important message to the general public. Vision health awareness was low and the number of people getting comprehensive yearly eye exams suffered because of mixed messages.
The Vision Council reached out to us to design and facilitate an industry-wide two-day Innovation Summit. The Summit’s purpose was to build consensus and uncover a common and meaningful message.
The Vision Council leadership contributed to planning the strength-focused process, which brought together diverse industry representatives including executives, ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians, manufacturers, and federal regulators, as well as participants from National Institutes of Health (NIH) and presidents of blindness organizations.
Over the course of the two days, skepticism, doubt, and differences were replaced with possibility, cooperation, collaboration, and innovation as participants interviewed each other, shared stories, envisioned the future, and developed a practical roadmap.
A completely new organization, the Foundation for Eye Health Awareness, was funded and created by participants in the process. This Foundation promotes awareness about the importance of eye health, and it has become the messenger of the Think About Your Eyes campaign – a multi-faceted campaign including television, radio, online, and social media communications aimed at increasing the number of comprehensive yearly eye exams and vision health awareness.
Since its launch in 2010, Think About Your Eyes has reached more than 22 percent of the U.S. population and driven about 1.6 million comprehensive eye exams (more than 6 percent improvement), as well as led to a 36 percent improvement in the number of new patients scheduling comprehensive eye exams. As a result, eye-care professionals have detected more than 300,000 incremental cases of potentially blinding eye diseases.
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