By Bryan D. Pinciaro
Chief Marketing Officer, Vision Source
In April of 2011, Vision Source® celebrated its 20th anniversary. Now, after 20 years, Vision Source® prepares to make itself even more known on a national level. While professionals in the industry have long known of Vision Source®, the new Vision Source® brand and logo, embraced by an overwhelming number of consumers and offices since its introduction last April, will launch Vision Source® further into the consumer psyche. I predict that Vision Source® will become more and more recognized as the premier vision care brand and provider offering to consumers thousands of easy access locations while enabling a great, innovative patient experience, comparable to names such as the Mayo Clinic.
What began as a small group of independent optometrists in search of creating some purchasing clout and developing a spirit of collaboration has multiplied to include nearly 5,000+ doctor members, representing more than 2,400+ optometric practices in the US and Canada. This is one of the largest footprints in North America in the vision care industry.
What’s remarkable about this growth is that it has occurred organically and relatively quietly. Doctor members recommend colleagues whom they believe will benefit from and add to the network. Optical industry manufacturers and vendors are drawn to the network because of the caliber of the practitioners involved, and the vast size of the network. Vision Source® offers exclusive brands developed for the network, as well as industry-leading products and services.
As the network has grown, so has its infrastructure. That deep support that Vision Source® offers its member doctors and offices extends far beyond the unmatched savings opportunities, buying power and cost-of-goods advantages. Through its annual North American Meeting, as well as through regular regional meetings and special events, Vision Source® provides its member doctors and office staff many chances to network and exchange ideas about best practices. A team of skilled staff at the home office (including some of the top, key opinion leaders in vision care who are employees, administrators and members) is dedicated to helping member offices work through issues or maximize their membership benefits.
The Vision Source® influence on the profession has been considerable. It is a leading donor to the charity Optometry Giving Sight, and member doctors are devoted to many eyecare-related causes. The network has developed connections with schools and colleges of optometry, and many member doctors are leaders in organized optometry on the national, state and local levels. The organization’s goal–to be the preeminent global leader in preserving independent optometry–has changed the landscape of the profession. Were it not for Vision Source® founders’ vision 20 years ago, independent optometry might well have lost ground to retail, mass merchandiser and online channels. By helping to level the playing field for the independent OD, Vision Source® has helped make independent optometry a viable option for more optometrists.
That kind of success cannot be achieved overnight or even in a few years. It’s a unique model that is regularly imitated and never duplicated. It takes years of laying the groundwork and developing an infrastructure to support member doctors. And that’s just what Vision Source® has done. Our priority is preserving independent optometry and offering the best ECP alliance experience so doctors can offer the best eyecare to their patients.
For more information visit www.visionsource.com.