General Director of Multiópticas since 2017 and more than 15 years working in the company, Carlos Crespo is excited about the current panorama of the company. Sales are back to those of 2019 and the company is focused on moving forward through new projects.
Since the creation of Multiópticas, there is something to which you have given special importance such as the brand value that you have created with Mó. How important is brand equity to you?
As you say, with Mó we have gained a brand value that we have been working on since 2009. Since Mó was born as a brand of glasses, within the Multiópticas environment, we tried to give it a personality and values that made it clear that it was not about of any white brand, but of a brand that was going to contribute something really different from what is any other eyewear equipment in the world of optics.
We have done this especially in recent years, we have accelerated this entire process and we have opted for Mó as one of the differential elements with respect to our competition and, above all, we have gone from ‘storytelling’ to ‘storydoing’. It is a new way of relating to customers and communicating a product differently that reaches all audiences, something very special that happens in the world of optics. You don’t have a brand that addresses a predefined target audience. In the world of optics we have potential clients between the ages of six and 99.
For this reason, working with the brand means that you have to broaden the entire spectrum of potential consumers; and when developing the product and evaluating it, you have to take into account that there are different audience targets, which sometimes complicates things more. The process has been based on trying to find, with each of the types of consumers, a type of relationship to make that brand desirable and give it value, which makes us different.
Does it cost a lot to build brand equity?
Very much. We have been working on it since 2009, and it is not easy, especially in this wide range of consumers we are targeting. For us, who have a very broad target, it is not easy. The importance of internal support is fundamental, and we are fortunate to have a network of 600 opticians that support all the brand values that we want to convey nationwide.
They have just launched a campaign, ‘Reason to believe’, about the values that you have created in the brand. What are these values?
Everything was born in 2009, when we developed everything related to Mó, but we believed that something had to be done to focus a little on communication everything we wanted to say, because sometimes it is difficult to transmit all the values, especially in very specific campaigns.
That is why we decided to create something that would make our Mó brand something truly differentiating, something that no other brand of glasses could offer. After asking consumers and opticians what they thought made us unique, we established ten values.
These are summarized in design, location, versatility, ‘human’ contact, innovation, quality, trust, trend, intelligence and updating. And thanks to these values, we have relied on a series of ambassadors who help us to develop each one of them. Each ambassador has that attribute that also makes him unique.
For example, the human role is represented by Ana Milan; the design by Palomo Spain; in the local part we have chosen Mario Vaquerizo; Nuria Roca in versatility, because she is capable of doing countless jobs in different areas?
And so on up to ten, with Juan Avellaneda, Dani García, Eugenia Silva, ‘los Javis’, Laura Escanes and Ana Guerra. In this way, with each brand ambassador we want to show that there really is a correlation between what counts and what the value of Mó transmits. We have sought that the platform is not only for the external consumer, but also for the internal customer. And all this is supported by a very powerful media plan for house employees,
You are a company that bases a large part of its communication on messages. You have recently launched a campaign that says “It can only be Mó”. Why can it only be Mó?
“Only it can be Mó” was born when trying to show that, after specializing for so many years with the Mó brand, about its territory, its strategy, its communication, we had to give it a meaning. Sometimes, brands find it difficult to be didactic when we transmit, because we have very small spaces to communicate, and little time, or we launch communication through very static platforms.
For this reason, what we seek with this message is to attract attention and show that we really have a manifesto, what lies behind the attributes that differentiate us as a brand and that give us a differentiating value compared to the competition. What our ten values unite is that Mó is basically our own design at the best price, it is innovation, it is quality without limits, and we say that when you do not give up anything ”
And what do you rely on for this?
We have more than a thousand models a year of glasses that we develop here, promoting that attribute of locality, and we develop jointly with both internal and external designers, supported for example by Palomo, Oliva, Avellaneda, so that our collections show that exclusive environment to consumers and that in the end we do different things, that we are unique in the sector. That is why “it can only be Mó”, offering such a wide product is only available to Multiópticas.
What is the importance of the ‘influencer’ in the brand in relation to future marketing?
We believe, more than in the ‘influencer’, in the people who create the values of your brand. We believe in people who speak the same language as us and who do so in a natural way. When this binomial arises, communication is much more real, and we will continue working in the future along this path, but always looking for people who transmit what we want to communicate. in this way the message takes on much more force
Entering the business field, what is Mó’s business model like?
We are a cooperative that, unlike the franchise model, each and every one of the partners are owners, they are not entrepreneurs who have invested money to develop the business as a franchisee. Here the partner is in the day-to-day of the optician’s, he is at the counter of the same attending to consumers, which is very positive, because it allows us to receive information about what happens at the point of sale in a way super fast.
It is the partner who sees how a consumer reacts to a collection, to a value proposition or to a campaign. That is a very good part of the cooperative, not to mention that with this model you have access to a great daily brainstorming of the members to improve your business. This feeds back the entire structure of the company and makes it possible for us to grow at a very interesting speed.
We are more agile than other types of companies or more complex structures, here everything is much more direct. At this moment we are a team made up of cooperative members throughout the national territory who occupy 600 points of sale, which provides us with great capillarity in any type of communication, such as “It can only be Mó”.
How can a new member join Mó?
To join a Mó store, in the economic part you have to be the owner of an optical establishment, and make a contribution to the cooperative as one more member, an entry share. From there, if you meet the requirements, regulated by a statute, the only thing left would be to contribute to the cooperative a quota of around 15,000 euros, an accessible amount.
In economic terms, how is it behaving this year in relation to 2019 and 2020?
We are having a very positive evolution in 2021, and in fact we have recovered the turnover levels of 2019, we feel quite fortunate. A series of conditions have accelerated this process, the most important of which is confinement, together with teleworking. The abuse of digital devices has caused people to strain their eyes at close range, causing the development of myopia, both in young people and adults, has accelerated. This has generated a great demand, so we have balanced our income statement and, as I mentioned, we have recovered the levels of 2019.
What has been the main problem caused by the pandemic in relation to optical health?
The problem has arisen as a result of teleworking. When you have to move the office to your home, you don’t get up from your chair. At the office you end up raising your head to talk to your colleague, you get up for a coffee, you go out to eat … that makes your vision change between far and near, so that your eyesight can rest. When you have everything focused at a very short distance, the muscle is misused, causing these problems.
Since the inception of the lockdown, many consumers, even people who are not visually impaired, have demanded our line of protective glasses from the harmful blue light emitted by screens and digital devices. It is a model that has emerged as a result of the pandemic and has a new path that has given us this possibility of additional performance.
Is there billing data for this year in relation to 2019?
Data, as a cooperative, I do not have them grouped at this time. As there are 140 companies, there is no consolidated data, but in terms of the evolution by sales volume we are growing around five percent compared to 2019. We have a positive internal assessment and we are luckily getting out of all this situation.
Let’s talk about future projects. What can you tell me about Mó Eco?
We have several challenges and projects. The first thing we have done is launch, last July, the Mó Eco collection, which we have developed with the plastic collected by large national and international nautical companies. What we do is transform that product, through a fully sustainable, industry-controlled fusion process into a liquid with which the glasses are manufactured. Therefore this collection is one hundred percent ecological, made with recycled plastic. But that is only the beginning.
What other environmental projects do you have?
We have recently adhered to the United Nations Global Compact, which requires us that by 2023 fifty percent of our collection must be made with ecological materials. And there are other projects we are working on, such as strengthening the entire digital part of the company. We have been pioneers in launching a series of services in the digital world, even before the pandemic, which was very positive for the day to day, and we will continue working to make physical optics have a part of the digital environment . This is a great challenge in the world of optics, we want to take a step forward.
How important is the consumer’s location?
The important thing about these processes is that the consumer understands that they can buy or contact the brand in any space. If someone wants to make an appointment to buy sunglasses or replace their contact lenses, it is important that they have enough tools to be able to do it where they want. After this pandemic, people value that the physical contact or the time that a person spends in the establishment is strictly necessary.
You have also participated in Madrid Fashion Week as sponsors, showing your new capsule model. How was the experience?
We have also developed a collection with Teresa Helbig and we want to make a great commitment to Spanish design. For this we have a team of five people together with the designer. As I was saying, we have worked with Oliva, with Palomo and with Teresa, and now we will also do it with our friend Juan Avellaneda.
Apart from being an ambassador, we are going to develop a collection with him, and we want to create a collection of capsules with him. This model is an escape route from this environment closer to the more traditional optics. We try to occupy a more fashionable environment to reach one hundred percent of the population.