Since the foundation in 1982 by Mr. Günther Wied sen. (15.06.1951 - 12.06.2004), EBM Design is a German family enterprise whose scope of activities comprises the design, production and marketing of ophthalmic frames and sunwear in different materials. The manufacturer of spectacles has always profited from its products “made in Germany”. From the former one-person company, EBM Design now employs more than 130 core workers and 16 sales representatives in Germany. Moreover, the company, which is now continued by Günther Wied jun., successfully managed to enter the Austrian, Czech, Dutch, French, Luxembourgian, Italian and Swiss market via various channels of distribution, e.g. patent license agreements, wholesalers, sales representatives. The products are exclusively sold to opticians. With EBM Design these opticians associate high-quality materials, amazing design and non-industrial perfection. However, not only quality but also technical innovations are guarantees of success. Among others EBM’s pioneering inventions are
Genium: Glasses with a special metal alloy that is flexible, durable and very easy with proven suitability for allergy sufferers
QX1: Using only one borehole instead of two, the spectacle wearer’s field of view is not affected that much.
New Balgrip: A special spectacled system, which does not need any screws and therefore ophthalmic lenses can be changed fast and without exerting any pressure on them.
Beside them, EBM’s latest invention and actual international bestseller is the worldwide-patented flexible spectacled plug-in system called SWITCH IT. A unique mechanism enables the easy, simple and fast switching of the three main parts of the frame, namely the bridge, the endpiece and the temple. As a result the customer only once chooses an appropriate glass form and can easily and relatively cheap switch to another style. Be it at work or during leisure time in the theatre, in the club or in the football stadium, SWITCH IT glasses are suitable for any situation. The huge assortment of more than 600 models has since September 2012 ‘switched’ to an unlimited and highly individual range of products due to the introduction of the possibility to create one’s own and unique spectacles. With 75 % (and counting) of EBM’s total revenue SWITCH IT is the main export hit to the above-mentioned markets. The retail prices vary from ˆ 45 to ˆ 80 for thin temples and from ˆ 55 to ˆ 120 for wide ones, depending on the complexity of processing.
As there have been huge changes in the Russian society there is a high potential for success. Nevertheless, one should not underestimate that Russia counts as the most unpredictable and unstable part of the BRICS countries. The political situation, import taxes, the high level of corruption and the high inflation are not really appealing.
Official homepage of SWITCH IT: http://www.switch-it.cc/
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1. Figure out all the possible risks and drawbacks EBM Design might face entering the Russian market (people’s attitude towards spectacles, taxes and so on) and discuss them.
2. SWITCH IT glasses are a niche product in a mid-ranged price segment. Is Russia “ready” for such a product or will the cheap unstylish reading glasses and the horrendously expensive brands (ˆ 250-500 per frame) continue their triumph?
3. Would you recommend EBM Design to enter the Russian market? If yes, where and through which channels of distribution/with which partners?
4. Which advertising media would you recommend in order to increase the brand awareness?
Personal question: Would you buy it? Why, why not?