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This month, we had the chance to sit down with Bailey Nelson. Bailey Nelson is an innovative eyewear provider – their goal is to provide glasses at a fair price to the style savvy. Since their inception in 2012, they have grown into an incredible team across six Canadian boutiques, and other international locations with stores across Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Read on to find out more about this awesome company!
Tell us a bit about Bailey Nelson.
Bailey Nelson in an Australian eyewear brand that was founded in 2012. We have one clear mission: to provide prescription glasses, sunglasses and non-prescription polarized sunglasses at a fair price to the style savvy.
Our vision is to change the glasses industry – positively and permanently; and whilst we’re at it, we hope to empower individuality and self-expression through our beautiful, affordable eyewear, inviting stores and incredible people.
We want buying eyewear to be fun and engaging – which is why we have a very relaxed approach and a flat pricing structure, so that the decision of what to wear is based on personal preference and best fit, not price!
When did Bailey Nelson come to Canada?
We opened our first location in the trendy Gastown area of Vancouver, BC in the summer of 2014. We then opened our Queen Street location in the spring of 2015 and have since expanded to 3 locations in Vancouver, one in Mississauga and as of May this year, Ottawa.
What have you found to be the most successful marketing tactic to build your brand (in general)? What about in Canada specifically?
We’d say our most successful marketing tactic to date has actually been our ability to provide a differentiated experience for our customers. The connection between our brand and the customer which forms after a visit to our store has become hugely valuable for us. The power of ‘word of mouth’ has excited and surprised us – in a great way. Most people are genuinely excited when they can have some fun trying on everything and, in most cases, walk out of the store in a beautiful pair of Baileys after only paying $145 for everything. A positive experience for a customer can go a long way for both the company and the individual – it ends up meaning that people want to share their experiences and this has generated unbelievable business for us and meaningful connections with people.
What social platform do you most like to engage with your community?
Definitely Instagram. Like most brands, we rely on visual engagement which is a large part of the attraction. It also allows us to feature people in our communities wearing their own Bailey’s on our feed because it gives a true face to the brand and the people behind it. Operating as a small business, it’s important to us that we foster those relationships and interact on a personal level with the people that support us, and Instagram allows us to do just that.
What advice would you give to businesses entering new markets?
Allow for flexibility to ensure you become a positive member of the community. Many businesses will have a model of how they enter a new geography which can involve implementing a “one size fits all” methodology. Each market is slightly different and it drastically helps having an understanding of a new market at a grass roots level – but more importantly, to have the flexibility to make changes where necessary. This means you have to take a long term view and have patience to grasp an understanding of a new environment. Not only does it make for a better support network for your business, but it becomes much more enjoyable as you engage with other interesting people and projects.
What differentiates Bailey Nelson from its competition?
Most notably, our business model. We control the whole process from design through manufacturing to supply via our stores. This means that we can produce stylish, high quality glasses without the high price points. We have people come in every day in disbelief that they could walk out of our store with a great pair of prescription glasses all in at $145, at no compromise to quality. We source all the high quality materials ourselves – making the quality of our frames completely comparable to top designer brands with a price that is nowhere near theirs. It is such a great moment when you get to tell people how affordable it can be for them. Their faces light up!
Where do you see your company in 5 years? 10 years?
In 5 years we hope to be known throughout the Canadian glasses industry as an honest, reliable brand with stores across Canada. In 10 years, we hope to have led the evolution of how people buy glasses. It doesn’t have to be a financial burden, but instead should be a fun expression of individuality and personal style, and we have figured out how to make that happen.
If you had to define your brand using 3 personality traits, what would they be and why?
I think the best words to describe what Bailey Nelson is about would be progressive, creative and genuine.
We are progressive in the business model behind the brand. We saw room for change within the glasses industry and we took our opportunity to make one. No longer should people feel restricted by price, instead, they should feel empowered by choice. We are also creative. We know that style is a major part of self expression for individuals, and we are here to encourage that. We keep things trendy and fresh so that our glasses are simply a tool to let your personality radiate. Finally, Bailey Nelson is genuine, in that we want to do honest work with great people. There are no tricks or traps, it’s just a great quality product priced at the appropriate cost, that’s it.