New Look for Optic Nerve Underscores Back to the Future Branding

New marketing directions capitalize on company’s roots, values. The first outward signs that something new is afoot for independent eyewear maker Optic Nerve will be at the upcoming winter sports trade shows.

The first outward signs that something new is afoot for independent eyewear maker Optic Nerve will be at the upcoming winter sports trade shows. First in Salt Lake City, then Denver, Optic Nerve will be presenting a new face to industry stalwarts at the two largest national trade shows for the outdoor and snow sports industries.

Leadership of the brand did some soul-searching this fall and that resulted in a new branding direction that isn't really as new as it is an exercise in sharing the kind of unpretentious messaging that truly captures the roots and values of the company and its principals.

“Becoming a huge company has never been the end goal,” says Optic Nerve President Bill Cotton. “Even with all the zillion-dollar mergers and acquisitions in our industry, { Tom and I have always had fun. Taking care of people along the way just makes sense.”

Cotton's business partner and research and development alchemist Tom Fox added, “Our primary mission is to take care of people. We are dependent upon relationships with our retailers, our sales reps, our loyal fans. We are committed to supporting all our communities to the very best of our abilities.”

Evidence of this back-to-the-future direction includes a refreshed visual identity including, logo, catalogs and other print material, in-store exhibits, trade show booth imagery and the coming launch this summer of a new website.

The company has also revised the themes of the stories it hopes to spotlight among its small, core squadron of individual athletes and teams. Brand Manager Gregory Niver explained that while competition results are nice, Optic Nerve is more interested in sharing the many heartfelt stories of positivity, giving back and causes championed.

The early response to the “newâ��� branding among these Nerve Champions and Ambassadors has been predictably favorable. Marin Mountain Bike Team Manager Mike Gore said it best. Gore read the Nerve's new brand book, a soul-bearing look behind the scenes of the brand, and was inspired to share what he saw.

“In this industry, it's pretty easy to get cynical about branding and marketing. Every year, another company comes out with a new acronym or semi-innovative technology and touts it as the new best thing. Rarely do brands take the time to explain where they've come from and why they are who they are,” Gore wrote in his blog post. “Change has come to Optic Nerve - it isn't a huge, corporate-mandated shift - instead, it's the courage as the little guys to tell their story and hold fast in a competitive market.”

Optic Nerve invites old industry friends and friends-to-be to swing by to see them at the following locations: Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, Booth #33059; SIA Snow Sports Show Booth #3434. At the SIA show, the Nerve is also hosting a fundraiser for SOS Outreach, a Vail-based non-profit dedicated to building character in youth through outdoor adventure. Cotton is vice president of the Board of SOS. The fundraiser will take place beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27, at SIA Booth #3434. There, people can buy a new pair of goggles for $20 and all proceeds will be donated to SOS Outreach, while supplies last. Representatives from SOS Outreach will be on hand and free celebratory beer will be flowing thanks, in part, to SIA show management.

For more information and to see the complete line of Optic Nerve sunglasses and goggles, visit their website,


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