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This California OD Built a Brand Inspired by the Frames He Loves

From their signs to their shot glasses, everything about this San Luis Obispo practice spells ‘Style’.

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This article originally appeared at our sister publication, INVISION.

WHEN YOU ASK owner Dr. Dave Schultz to define the target demographic at Urban Optics in San Luis Obispo, CA, he replies not with the usual marketing parameters, but in a single word: “Stylish.” “Our primary market is age/sex indifferent. It is style-oriented, and this is obvious the minute you step into our office,” he says.

In fact, it’s obvious even before you get that far: Urban Optics’ sharp, modern — and, yes, stylish — “UO” logo, with its splash of color and clever pictorial “eye” reference, sits high on the front exterior wall, accompanying a smart black-and-white rendering of the practice’s name. Inside, floors and walls are painted in hues derived from the color palette found in the business’s official style guide. The logo’s “eye” features the full palette. “It’s extremely important to use your logo on all public interactions,” says Schultz, adding that a consistent color scheme “pulls it all together.”

Urban Optics’ brand also adorns business cards, lens cloths and spray, cases, buttons and notebooks — many of which are “out at all times for taking,” according to Schultz —as well as the business’s signage, website, and letterhead. “And we always bag everything!” he adds. The team love in-store parties and trunk shows, at which branded giveaways including T-shirts, shot glasses and wine glasses are a fixture.

The biggest influences on Schultz’s branding were his favorite frame lines and designers, with a special shout out going to l.a. Eyeworks and the original Alain Mikli. “I opened cold with only those two independent lines in 1990,” he recalls. “Their styles and marketing images are still etched in my mind.”

Hiring a marketing firm was one of the most important decisions Schultz ever made. “We spent hours discussing image, colors and developing a logo.
They pushed me to come up with a tag line; that’s when I came up with, ‘Where vision and style collide.’” The firm also worked with Urban Optics on a new website and directed him to the proper developers. “The cost was well worth it!”

When developing a brand, Schultz — who puts his own laid-back persona, effortless sense of style and humor front and center in his social media posts — advises that “The most important thing is to be yourself! I have an image and am easily recognizable. My business follows in my footsteps, which makes my business branding real-life!”

PHOTO GALLERY (5 IMAGES)

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