Interview with Jonathan Ormsby, key account manager at Transitions Optical
By Linda Lalande
LL: What’s your message to brokers?
JO: What’s It’s important for brokers is to recognize how powerful the Transitions brand is. We are putting a lot of effort into building brand recognition among consumers to inspire them to ask for coverage of Transitions Light Intelligent lenses specifically. We help employees and their companies make the connection between Transitions lenses as being comfortable, protective and fashionable—AND also a way to increase their productivity at work. The protection message really translates into workplace wellness and productivity.
Our goal is to help you to be able to communicate that message to your clients, so they can have happier more productive employees. We see it as a win-win for all. Brokers can ‘follow that light’ and build their own business with us.
LL: How do Transitions lenses fit into workplace wellness?
JO: Employees are using their eyes differently because of the time they spend in front of screens. Employees want to see well and want to be able to take breaks to reduce eyestrain. Digital eye strain and light sensitivity affect productivity—in fact seven in 10 employees experience digital eye strain at work. Part of that comes from not having the best eyewear that’s available to them. And Transitions lenses really help with that.
With eight in 10 employees saying they’d be more likely to enroll in or keep a vision plan that covers Transitions lenses, including this is good for both employees and employers. It’s part of what our research has shown.
The opportunity is ripe to arm employers with the tools they need to implement a successful workplace wellness program, including offering comprehensive vision benefits plans that cover premium eyewear options such as Transitions lenses. Brokers play an important role in that awareness.
LL: Are there other advantages to covering Transitions for employers?
JO: Our third-party research from Wakefield Research shows that the vast majority of employees are more likely to accept a job at a company that offers vision benefits. Seven in 10 say it’s important that their plan covers authentic Transitions brand lenses, rather than another brand of photochromic lenses. Further, more employees are likely to enroll in a vision plan that covers Transitions lenses and use their vision benefits wisely.
LL: What role does Transitions Optical play in the vision marketplace?
JO: We pretty much invented the protective lens category and are the category leader. As such, we feel it’s important to show consumers how Transitions lenses can help them see better, work better and feel better. We are committed to driving category growth through advertising and education.
Globally, the top three brands in the optical space recognized by consumers are Ray-ban, Oakley and Transitions Optical—so that’s huge. It’s really unique for a lens company to be up there with lifestyle sunglass eyewear brands like Ray-ban and Oakley, which have popular frames as well as apparel lines.
LL: Why do you sponsor Transitions Academy? It’s a huge endeavor, and very different from other conferences.
JO: The event started as a Train-the-Trainer course 24 years ago. When we discovered how much impact it has on improving attendees’ business, we expanded. Ensuring our partners success ensures our own. Our goal is to set our professional partners up at the beginning of the year, with the tools and resources they need to be successful throughout the rest of the year through education and inspiration.
From the brokers standpoint: we bring carriers and brokers here to learn about the power of the brand and technology—and to experience what we are doing with consumers to communicate the brand. They can connect the dots and see the bigger picture.
Sometimes vision gets left behind medical, but once brokers see the stats on productivity, and the desire of consumers and employees to have Transitions lenses, they realize how big of a draw that can be to build their business. We have an impressive focus on personal development with breakouts on leading with resilience and emotional intelligence, as well as more pragmatic topics such as using social media to build your business.
We partner with vision plans and have an internal sales team dedicated to work directly with brokers, so they see the value of protection, comfort and convenience. We supply materials designed for providers, members, and brokers to educate and encourage them.