BOCA RATON, FL: Foster Grant, the eyewear brand, has successfully shown the power of emotional engagement by tapping into the deep-rooted feelings many consumers associate with wearing reading glasses.

Gina Lazaro, EVP Marketing/CMO at FGX International – the parent company of Foster Grant – discussed this subject during a session at The Market Research Event.

More specifically, she outlined how the brand employed the "NINA Principal" – or, "No Insight, No Advantage" – to understand the consumer mindset around reading glasses.

"We delved into an extensive emotional inquiry and research project. We spoke with consumers in our target markets and men and women in the 40-to-60-year-old age group," she said. (For more, read Warc's exclusive report: Foster Grant insights identify new audience connection.)

This process involved conducting "intensive one-on-one interviews that had a psychological base to the approach to them", and covered, among other things, the emotional drivers, mental barriers and category perceptions linked to reading glasses.

And the "aha moment" soon arrived, as this investigation demonstrated that emotional factors were just as important as functional concerns for participants.

"When you put on a pair of readers, you're telecasting to people that you're getting older," said Lazaro. "At its most basic level, wearing reading glasses reminded people of aging and their inability to do anything about it."

The pivotal moment in the purchase journey, she continued, typically required reaching a state of "whole, full acceptance" regarding the need for a visual boost.

Lazaro summed up this notion as a customer saying, "You know what? I need reading glasses. It is what it is. I might as well look good and buy for myself some stylish pairs of reading glasses".

Peer-to-peer recommendations from consumers who already enjoy the benefits of these products are especially powerful in prompting others to act – an idea captured in a Foster Grant television spot starring actress Brooke Shields.

"It's those people that help bring in the next group of consumers. What we found, very clearly, was that consumers needed an invitation to come into the category and to be told, 'Hey, it's okay'," Lazaro said.

Data sourced from Warc