Owndays is an international optical retail company that was founded in Japan in 1989. By 2018, the company managed to penetrate 11 Asian markets successfully. On average, the company sells 2 million pairs of glasses annually. The aim of the brand is to produce a pair of quality glasses within 20 minutes from optometry to delivery. Some outstanding features about Owndays’ spectacles are that they are equipped with UV protection and dust-resistant coating. Even as the company strives to make functional spectacles, it also aims to make visually-appealing spectacles. We now know what Ownways does. So, it is time to learn about the company by exploring some facts you may not have known about it. Without further ado, here are 20 things you didn’t know about Owndays.
20. The 2008 Global Financial Crisis Changed How Owndays Sold Their Spectacles
When the crisis occurred, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy. As a result, the company had to devise ways to avoid becoming bankrupt. Fortunately, the company was lucky to be headed by a bold and visionary CEO, Shuji Tanaka. Shuji resorted to unconventional ways of penetrating the market despite facing traditionally large powerhouses in the saturated optical industry in Japan. Some ways they sold their glasses was by having them ready within minutes instead of days and selling them at affordable prices.
19. The Company Was Able to Change People’s Perceptions About Glasses
There are several reasons why some people resent wearing glasses. According to Pacific Standard, one of the reasons people hate wearing them is that they make them look silly. The hate for them may stem from popular culture influence whereby they are depicted as for overly intellectual and introverted students. First, the company changed people’s perspectives by making their glasses more attractive. Next, the company used unusual marketing strategies that involved rebranding and effective corporate management.
18. Owndays Became Helpful During the 2011 Hydrogen Explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
During the disaster, many people lost their sunglasses and contact lenses. According to World Nuclear, the explosion was caused by a 15-meter tsunami that disabled the power supply and cooling of three Fukushima Daiichi reactors. Soon after the accident, the company embarked on an eyeglass relief project which enabled the affected persons to get glasses or contact lenses. Owndays was able to deliver the eyewear items to over 2,000 people in 10 different shelters.
17. The Company Has a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiative Called Owndays Eye Camp
Owndays launched the initiative in 2015, and it kicked off in India. The purpose of the project is to provide aid to developing countries. According to Owndays, it discovered that about 4 billion people in the world need visual correction. However, due to financial difficulties and lack of eye care facilities, half of them cannot get eyeglasses or contact lenses. Knowing how much people suffer from trying to get eye care services is what drove the company to start this initiative.
16. When Shuji Took Over the Company in 2008, He Had Some Challenges to Resolve
Under the previous leadership of Yoshiki Moribe, the company had a debt of $10 million. Shuji was then the company’s employee and assumed a takeover by buying out company shares. At the time, people felt that Shuji had made a risky move. By this time, the company had a poor reputation due to its accumulated debts. It had such a huge debt problem that banks and external companies refused to offer funding. Fortunately, Shuji devised a strategy to change people’s perceptions about the company through rebranding.
15. Owndays Was Once Displeased With the Lack of Transparency by Some Spectacles Companies
When eyewear shops advertise their spectacles, they normally indicate the prices of the lens and leave out other important details of the glasses. That means the client will end up visiting the shop only to find out about the actual price. As a result, the client may have no option but to pay the unexpected price. Owndays was unhappy with how such shops marketed their spectacles and decided to do something different. The company decided to implement a simple final net price system whereby the price shown for the glasses on display would represent the final net price per design unit.
14. Owndays Removed the Add-On Fee for High Index Lenses in 2011
Following this decision by the company, customers could then pay the same price regardless of their prescription. Due to this decision, the company enjoyed an increase in sales by 120% each year. Other companies tried to mimic what Owndays did, yet some did not come close to being as successful as Owndays. The lack of success from such companies likely stemmed from them arbitrarily lowering their prices. One reason Owndays became successful was that there was a lot of transparency on its part.
13. The Company Offers Promotions Through an In-House Voting System
Just like in elections, employees who desire to be storekeepers, for instance, vie for the position. Other employees then vote for the person they consider the most suitable for the role. Once the person gets voted in for their preferred role, they are forced to continually challenge themselves to be better. If the person does not perform as expected, they will likely be voted out in the next elections.
12. Owndays Used a Strategy from Japan Which Soon Backfired
Many companies employ strategies from other companies and become successful. Part of the reason Owndays was successful was that they adopted business strategies from Japan to other countries, e.g., the fast collection of prescription glasses. A strategy that backfired was the successful social media campaign in Japan. Based on Japan’s campaign, Owndays launched an Instagram challenge in Singapore in 2018. Although the challenge went viral, there was a lot of backlash from young Singaporeans. They claimed that Owndays lacked any credibility in upholding promises for future campaigns.
11. Owndays Joined Forces with Lenskart in 2022
The purpose of this collaboration was to boost the eyewear business across 13 Asian markets. Despite the partnership, each company would continue to operate as separate brands. Partnering with Lenskart would greatly help Owndays. For instance, Lenskart had an engineering team consisting of 300 people. Through this team, a stronger online and omni experience would be built for Owndays. Additionally, Lenskart had also been investing millions of dollars in supply chain integration and automation. That means the companies would be able to leverage them to further enhance customer proposition and unit economics.
10. The Company Occasionally Holds Premium Concept Stores
The last premium concept store that Owndays held was at Takashimaya Shopping Center, Singapore, in 2022. It was the second one after the first one held in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, in 2021. In the last premium concept store, the first 66 clients were given gifts. For instance, the first 33 people were given $100 gift vouchers while the remaining ones until the 66th person were given a pair of Owndays glasses worth $78. In order to receive the gifts from this company, you have to be an existing Owndays member and follow the brand on Instagram.
9. Owndays Sells Spectacles which are Demon Slayer-Themed
Owndays launched the glasses in 2021, and they cost $258. Each spectacle comes with an exclusive spectacle case, cleaning cloth, and standard high index aspheric lenses. You can choose from any of the six designs inspired by the six characters, e.g., Giyu, Shinobu, Nezuko, Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke. The frames are decorated with motifs that are unique to each character.
8. The Company Also Produces Anti-Radiation Spectacles
The anti-radiation glasses produced by Owndays are called “Owndays PC.” These glasses were developed for people who stare at the computer, TV, and smartphones for long periods. Since these stare displays tend to be so bright, these spectacles minimize the brightness and glares caused by them. The beauty of the Owndays PC glasses is that they are light, which means you can comfortably wear them on your face. If you are worried about eye strain from wearing these glasses, you need not to worry. These glasses reduce blue light by 25%, so you will not feel any side effects from wearing them.
7. Owndays Launched a Campaign in 2018 and Immediately Shut It Down
The campaign was a discount one that asked followers to click on likes for discounts on its glasses. This campaign was supposed to run for a month before it was unexpectedly stopped. Soon after, the company received an overwhelming number of responses from online users. As a result, the company had no choice but to shut down the campaign. Naturally, some people were disappointed with the company’s decision citing that it failed to communicate the end of the promotion ahead of time. Others, however, defended what the company did by claiming that online users began using fake likes to cheat the system.
6. Owndays Teamed Up With Gundam to Launch Certain Spectacles in 2020
The team launched a collection of four snap frames from Owndays. These frames were based on the mobile suit motifs of Dom, Gundam, Zaku II, and Char’s Zaku II. Each frame goes for $198 and comes with a special glasses case, cleaning cloth, and each frame depicting each suit motif. The frames are made of lightweight stainless steel and are treated with a matte coating to give them a premium touch.
5. The Company Again Teamed Up With Cinnamoroll to Launch Some Glasses in 2021
Through this partnership, glasses based on Cinnamoroll were launched. Cinnamoroll is the name of a certain fluffy white male puppy. The frames are modeled after Cinnamoroll, Corune, Poron, and Milk. The frames are also available for children, and they cost $178. Each frame is oversized and polygon-shaped, which brings out plenty of personality to the person wearing them.
4. Owndays Collaborated With Mi-Mollet in 2021
The purpose behind this partnership was to create adult glasses. Some people prefer adult glasses because it makes them appear intelligent, mature, and fashionable. Their spectacles come together with a crossbody pouch, mobile phone, and other small items. The lenses are 6mm thick, which creates a vivid impression. As for aesthetics, the temples have accents with the wire core encased in transparent acetate and have a star motif on the left temple.
3. The Company Launched a Campaign in 2020 Called Seven Days
The aim of the campaign was to woo Southeast Asian fashion enthusiasts to wear their ultra-cheap spectacles. These glasses were selling from $30 to $60, which were half the prices of the flagship chain. Owndays sought to expand Seven Days to 100 locations across Southeast Asia by 2025. The glasses sold in this campaign were purple, pink, and other bright colors. These color choices were inspired by popular South Korean designs, a departure from the more muted options that do well in Japan.
2. You Can Earn Rewards with the Owndays Membership Program
In order to earn these rewards, you have to make in-store or online purchases. When you sign up for the membership, you will not be required to pay any membership fee. Another reward system the company has is through referring friends. When you refer a friend, your friend will get a $20 discount coupon, and you will receive 4% points rebate. Each point represents $1, and the points are valid for 12 months from the month of issue.
1. Owndays Has Highly Strengthened Its Presence in the Indian Scene
By 2020, the company launched its sixth branch in India. The company’s intention was to expand into Delhi and Mumbai. For the company to run its operations in India, it collaborated with GKB Opticals. Currently, it has stores in Chandigarh, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Chennai.
From the facts we have read so far, we have understood how Owndays became successful. For instance, the company took some risks in 2008, and it eventually became successful. Also, big companies like Owndays occasionally make mistakes. We saw that when we talked about the company unsuccessfully mimicking what other companies were doing. However, mimicking is not always wrong as long as you tweak the idea you took inspiration from.
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Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee