ORLANDO—More than 900 optical industry professionals were on hand here for the opening of Transitions Academy on Monday as Transitions Optical released details on a new “global brand identity” and logo, a refreshed marketing campaign with four new planned TV ads and an upcoming Snapchat marketing promotion. In addition, Transitions reported findings from an industry survey that showed 91 percent of optical industry professionals think today’s consumers are willing to pay more for technology that improves their lives or makes their lives easier.

Overall, it was a busy start to the two-day educational event under the theme, “Future Ready.” There were 470 first-time attendees, with representatives from North and South America, participating in the sessions at the Swan Resort during the 22nd annual Transitions Academy that featured professional development sessions, product technology workshops and an Innovation Awards dinner, among other programs.

“I have a passion for brands and brand-building,” said Chrystel Barranger, who is attending her first Academy session in Orlando after having been named president of Transitions Optical in 2017. “To me, Transitions is truly a visionary brand.” In an interview with VMAIL, Barranger said she is “intrigued by the optical industry” and the potential of the Transitions brand. “She added, I’m a business girl who loves to grow a business.”

Barranger, who previously was president of a Mondelez International food division in Europe and a consultant for Boston Consulting Group, said she is working on initiatives aimed at making photochromic benefits more relevant to consumers and “increasing the cool factor” of Transitions lenses, among other objectives. “You are not the leader forever if you don’t constantly reinvent yourself,” she added. Along this line, Barranger also noted that Transitions will debut its new branding and logo—an update of the current logo with a slash through the “o” in Transitions and a tagline, “Light Intelligent Lenses” underneath the brand name—that will roll out at the Vision Expo East event in New York City next month.

In introducing four new video ads for the brand, some of which were filmed as recently as January, Barranger noted that one of the intentions of the refreshed advertising is to promote Transitions as a lifestyle brand. The four ads show a cross section of Millennials in both professional and leisure settings, and the adaptive quality of their lenses no matter what the lighting or the environment. “Instead of trying to persuade, let’s try to appeal,” she noted during her presentation. The four ads also convey the message that “light has to be under control,” thus empowering and freeing the user, she added.

“We have built a great category and now we’re taking it to the next level,” Jose Alves, general manager, Americas, said as he kicked off the opening general session. Alves said Transitions is focusing today on “opportunities for the future” as the company continues to build the brand and its partnerships with ECPs.

Patience Cook, director, North America marketing, announced the new of the project with Snapchat that is now scheduled, in its first phase, to run during the April-June period. It will include a virtual try-on experience that Snapchat users also will be able to “share” with their connections. A subsequent program will include custom codes for Transitions’ partners to use, Cook said during her presentation. This phase is planned for the April to October period “for partners everywhere,” she added.

Transitions also used the backdrop of the Academy meeting to announce the results of its “Tomorrow Today: A Vision of What’s Next” survey. The results are intended to provide a first-hand look at what industry professionals are experiencing with consumers and their businesses. The findings indicated that many ECPs are confronting shorter attention spans, a desire for “smart innovation” and more personalization and changing buying preferences. The findings also showed that 94 percent of industry professionals are interested in spotting trends to build their businesses, and 89 percent say eyewear is increasingly impacted by fashion fads and trends.

The results were presented during a Trendspotting Leadership panel hosted by Marian Salzman, CEO, Havas PR North America, and featuring members of the Transitions leadership team, including Catherine Rauscher, global director, strategic business innovation.