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Thursday, January 06, 2011

For Athletes Only: Turning the Ordinary Into Something Remarkable

Written by  Duane Bailey

I’ve always thought of sunglasses as something rather ordinary – a mass-produced, inexpensive commodity I could pick up in any drug or department store. All of this changed this past summer when my teen-aged son asked me to try on his pair of “Oakleys”.

I knew in an instant Oakley, Inc. had succeeded in turning the ordinary into something remarkable. The fit and feel of his sunglasses were like nothing I had ever experienced before. Through a unique blend of art and science, their products have made Oakley one of the most widely recognized brands in performance and fashion, particularly among the hundreds of professional and amateur athletes who sport Oakley products while competing.

As Oakley’s online brand overview proclaims, “It’s in our DNA to identify problems, create inventions, and wrap those inventions in art.” During a visit to one of their retail stores, I saw how easily the sales associate was able to build a pair of sunglasses around my own particular needs, likes, and dislikes.

Within a few short minutes, the retail sales associate handed me a custom-made pair of Oakley Radar® sunglasses to try on. The frames were the color of my choice (Matte Black/Grey) and the Pitch® lenses were chosen to complement the shape of my face. They came with the optional Iridium® glare-reduction coating I had requested. The sunglasses were designed with many of the features I couldn’t get with the ordinary ones I used to own: lenses that would block out harmful UV rays and prevent rain and sweat from building up, a nosepiece that would continue to grip even during heavy summer perspiration, a lightweight frame that would be as comfortable to wear at the end of the day as it was in the beginning, and impact-resistant lenses for blocking high-velocity projectiles from reaching my eyes while on the range. Oh, and did I mention how good they looked when I finally tried them on?

By finding a way to make my experience with sunglasses better than I thought possible, Oakley has succeeded in turning the ordinary into something remarkable. How remarkable, you ask? So much so that I was willing to pay almost 10 times as much as I used to pay for the ordinary sunglasses I once wore.       


Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey is a regular contributor to The Chief Storyteller® online conversation. He has helped organizations of all sizes drive growth in revenues and market share through the development and delivery of key business messages that resonate with target audiences. He holds an MBA in International Business and a BS in Marketing. He brings 28 years of experience in marketing communications and high technology sales.

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