‘Mind the Gap’—Recognizing And Embracing Differences

Ok, people. Who of you out there remember these phrases: “Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30.” Or “No Coke…Pepsi.” Or “Fall Into The Gap.”


Yes, I thought so. These are little catch phrases of the ‘70s, signs of an, ahem, aging Boomer generation. And just as distant as those phrases seem to many of you all now, I propose that, to the ears of today’s 20-something, Millennial generation, such quotes are just, well, meaningless.

The concept of who can relate to what or whom is what’s behind the thinking of VM’s new editorial series, “Minding The Gap.”

We kick off the series this month with our Cover Topic where we explore how a generational gap, an “age divide,” as one marketing observer describes it, is influencing consumers’ behavior—and how all businesses, including optical dispensers and retailers, need to find ways to relate to different customers’ needs, perceptions and changing shopping habits in our digital age. It’s a gap that’s influencing how eyewear is sold all across the country.

I’d like to to give a shout-out to the Jobson Optical Group’s Mark Mattison-Shupnick, director, education and training, who observed this very real phenomenon at today’s optical dispensaries. In his travels speaking to groups of opticians, managers and optometrists around the country, he was getting questions about sorting out new types of needs and challenges from patients and customers of different ages. The VM editorial team discussed this further with Mark and we conceived this new editorial series as a result.

We plan to do upcoming series installments throughout 2013 on this—stories which will tackle bridging other “gaps” that exist in the retail, optical dispensing and eyewear product arenas in the areas of lenses, technology, knowledge and marketing. We want to hear from you, too, so e-mail me at maxelrad@jobson.com if you’ve experienced these gaps and found practical ways to tackle them in your own business.