Dean Butler | Founder of LensCrafters North America and Vision Express Worldwide

Dean Butler

Founder of LensCrafters North America and Vision Express Worldwide

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Dean Butler

Dean Butler is a speaker and the founder of LensCrafters. Butler revolutionized the optics industry with the concept of "glasses in an hour." Today, his startup business, LensCrafters, is ubiquitous. Butler led the "superoptical" movement, which commercialized the optics industry on a large scale in the 1980s. His experience in entrepreneurship and challenging the status quo gives him a fresh perspective into marketing trends.

Butler previously worked with Procter and Gamble, specializing in Ivory liquid, Cheer laundry detergent, and Folger's instant coffee brands. Butler's marketing experience at Procter and Gamble came in handy. He notes that "Marketing eyewear isn't much different from selling coffee. Retailing is what you do when customers walk into the store. But with a new idea, marketing comes first. Marketing is how you inspire customers to come to your door." Butler's "no risk sales guarantee" gave clients a full refund on glasses returned within 30 days of purchase. LensCrafters also offered to match competitors' prices as well as free lifetime maintenance.

Despite the cynical opinion of the business community, LensCrafters generated a $2 million profit in the first year and experienced growth from then on. Under Bulter's leadership, from 1984 to 1987, LensCrafters' sales multiplied from $13.6 million to $305 million in sales. In 1986 alone, the company opened new stores at the rate of almost two per week.

Butler speaks on his experience and successes at LensCrafters and Procter & Gamble.

*In partnership with P&G Alumni Network Speakers Bureau.

Dean Butler
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Building a Successful Business Internationally

Under Dean’s leadership, LensCrafters/Vision Express operated 2200 retail outlets in 29 countries, including opening the first majority foreign-owned business in the Soviet Union. His expertise in working within foreign government parameters, and his understanding that there is no good and bad but only same and different, led to the company’s phenomenal success internationally.

Principles & Values of Marketing

Dean learned the basic principles and values of good marketing while at the preeminent marketing company, Procter & Gamble, and he has carried them on throughout his career. Namely, that good marketing must have a provocative selling position, it needs to be substantive, and needs to provide the consumer with permission to believe.

Branding & Strategic Positioning

How do you go about branding items that have no real inherent interest to consumers? How do you get a consumer to be loyal to one brand of an everyday item like soap? And is marketing coffee different from marketing a luxury item or a service? Dean shares his expertise in taking all the variables and condensing them into a dynamic strategic positioning.

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Dean Butler

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