As part of our involvement with the Telluride-For-2 Giveaway, we wanted to get to know our Colorado-based co-sponsors better. We sat down with Zeal Optic’s Director of Marketing, Joe Prebich, at the brand’s retail store in downtown Boulder, Colorado to better understand what goes into the fashion, function and sustainability of the brand’s eyewear.
IBEX: How has Zeal made such a huge name for itself in a crowded optics market?
JOE PREBICH: The brand’s success depends on carving out our own niche. We understand that there is a sea of competitors, but we can’t just say we’re different. We actually have to be different. We have to be authentically connected to our consumers. If we’re going to market ski goggles, we need to get 100 days a year on snow. We need to know what it’s like to be in the industry and know the problems so we can address them. We don’t do market research on an industry-wide scale; we do it on the chairlift.
IBEX: Zeal has been around for a long time. How have you rebranded the company?
JP: The company has been around for 17 years. But when I came on, we completely recreated the brand. I realized we had to have the audacity to reconstruct from the ground, so we took all of the product and marketing off the shelf and spent six months rebuilding. If you just put a Band-Aid over something, people know. Now, it’s 2 ½ years later and people don’t even remember the old brand.
IBEX: Why Boulder for Zeal’s home base?
JP: Boulder represents our values and ethics – eco responsibility, social responsibility and life experiences. We’re the world’s most responsible eyewear company. We just put out a 100% biodegradable eyewear line. We plant trees and are slowly trying to rebuild an entire forest. We actually do the things that we say we do.
IBEX: What are you most stoked for this snow season?
JP: A long weekend at Telluride and solid powder days. Hopefully they will happen at the same time!
Thanks for the time, Joe.