A Little Imagination Goes a Long Way

By Deirdre Carroll: Senior Editor

I’ve always thought that challenging times generate some of the most innovative ideas.

Recently, the U.S. work force has had to deal with shrinking staff numbers, budget cuts and the fact that the same amount of work, if not more, still needs to get done.

That sure sounds challenging to me.

As a nation, we’ve become forced to work smarter (not to mention harder) and are now faced with the need to come up with new, more efficient and more creative ways to get things done.

Suppliers have long had the budgets and marketing resources to do all sorts of fun and creative things to promote their brands. Luxottica, Marchon and now Wescan have all sponsored film festivals (look for more on Wescan at the Toronto Film Festival next issue). Companies like Transitions, Oakley and Wiley X have strong ties to the sports world, and if you follow our weekly Bold Face postings on VisionMonday.com you know just about every brand capitalizes on a celeb snapped in one of their styles.

But lately, Vision Monday has been addressing some of the more imaginative methods ECPs and optical retailers are using to bring people into their stores. Our August cover feature “Telling Stories” introduced a few tricks of the trade a variety of retail outlets have employed and even included an accompanying Action Plan (still available on VisionMonday.com) with tips all retailers could implement.

And in this issue’s cover story, Fine Art , which starts on page 31, VM’s assistant editor Delia Paunescu dug in even deeper to explore the connection many retailers are making to the art world. It’s an article that sure gave us a whole new perspective on coming up with creative ideas.

It’s impressive to see how a small amount of pressure, a little bit of time and a whole lot of passion can manifest itself into overcoming a challenge. I’m not saying that I’d like this economic slowdown to linger any longer than it absolutely has to but as someone who perpetually looks for the silver lining, I for one am glad that I am no longer resting on my laurels or taking things for granted and that “thinking outside the box” has become my new status quo.

At Vision Monday we are always interested in hearing what you have to say. So if you have been thinking outside the box to boost business or have come up with your own creative idea to overcome a challenge, let me know. You just might see another cover story based on it.