Bringing sunglasses to life
Luxottica, the world’s largest eyewear company, purchased Ray-Ban and LensCrafters in the 1990s. After acquiring the Sunglass Hut retail network in 2000, it repositioned the brand towards quality fashion sunglasses. With a new visual identity by Wolff Olins, Grain created a striking tone-of-voice for Sunglass Hut retail stores and communications.
Luxottica planned to ‘upmarket’ Sunglass Hut and build its global retail presence. Initially targeting American consumers, its strategy was to transition the brand from a male sports focus towards a fashion-focused female audience, achieving a higher unit price per sale by promoting its growing portfolio of premium and luxury brands.
The tone-of-voice that Grain created for Sunglass Hut retail stores, communications and advertising builds on elements of the new visual identity – specifically the logotype and ‘silver sun’ symbol. We defined a colour palette of white and light grey, complemented by ‘focus colours’ for each season. We developed guidelines for the core brand, in-store branding, photographic styling and written tone-of voice. Working closely with architects and shopfitters on in-store exposure of the brand, we emphasised a ‘balance of voices’ between the Sunglass Hut brand, its licensed brands such as Chanel, Prada and Burberry, and in-house brands like Oakley, Persol and Vogue.
Sunglass Hut has single-mindedly pursued its mission of becoming the ‘premier shopping and inspiration destination’ for fashion and performance sunglasses. Today it has 2,000 retail outlets worldwide, 1,800 being in the US. In 2010, Luxottica reported record group sales, driven by strong performance in its premium and luxury brand ranges.
“Grain’s creativity, combined with their deep knowledge and understanding of the world of fashion and accessories, was instrumental in helping shift the Sunglass Hut brand from being well-known but somewhat stuck in the past, to becoming an icon of the high street.” Stefano Ferro, Project Co-ordinator