Interview with Steve Koch, Managing Director of AllesBrille
The specialist optician AllesBrille has been in Charlottenburg since 2013. The innovative concept of the modern stylishly-furnished shop offers a rich selection of spectacle frames and high-quality lenses 100 per cent “made in Germany”. AllesBrille uses the latest video centring system for refraction and has developed into a varifocal specialist over the years. In addition, the master craftsman's business also offers its own brand of eyewear. Steve Koch has been the managing director of AllesBrille since 2019.
Mr Koch, you come from marketing and run an optics company. How does that work?
I have been involved in marketing at AllesBrille since its foundation in 2013. When the owners wanted to hand over the business 5 years later, I saw my chance to develop it further with my own ideas and founded AllesBrille Optiker GmbH in 2019, which then took over the business. Of course, I could only do this with the help of our great AllesBrille team, which always stood by me.
With over 500 optical businesses in Berlin, it's certainly not easy to establish a new concept. What do you do differently?
We haven't reinvented the wheel but we always try to find niches where we can do something better than others and we build our concept on that. For example, most low-cost providers sell only spectacles, have too few qualified personnel and sometimes do not even have a workshop. If you buy glasses there, you have to wait at least 2 weeks until your glasses are ready. With us, you can often take your new glasses with you right away, after a waiting time of 45 minutes.
How can you as a managing director bring in new perspectives and impulses?
Since I am not originallyfrom the industry, I also see many things from a different perspective. We launched our #CHANGEYOURPERSPECTIVE campaign in July 2020. Since then, we have been setting aside €2 for every pair of glasses sold and donating the amount raised by the end of the year to a charitable institution in our neighbourhood. The campaign focusses on the situation of minorities, such as people of colour, LGBT, homeless people, refugees and people with other religions, from a different perspective. At the same time, we are addressing the needs of people in our neighbourhood (www.changeyourperspective.de).
To what extent do new media and technologies help with attracting new clients?
Our shop is not in a typical walk-in location, so we rely on our online presence to acquire new customers. Social media, our internet presence and augmented reality, help to convey our know-how and products vividly. The many excellent reviews from our satisfied customers are also helpful and contribute to a top ranking on Google.
One last question. Has the topic of sustainability also reached the field of visual aids?
Very importantly, we source our lenses only from the Berlin region, following the motto ‘Think global, buy local’. By this means, we avoid the large CO2 emissions of long delivery distances. The producer of our lenses, Ophthalmica in Rathenow, shares our commitment to this issue. We also converted our entire lighting system to LEDs in 2021. This means we are now saving almost half of our previous energy requirements.
Last but not least, we spent a lot of money to buy a special water filter from Wardakant for our lens-grinding machine. As a result, our glasses are now produced without any microplastics entering the waste water.
Thank you for this interview and we wish you continued success!
Source: LUST AUF GUT, Republic of Culture, Berlin und drum herum, Issue 207