TURBA Charging the Eyewear Market with Great Style, Fit and Price

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Sports eyewear brand TURBA has quickly built a strong and devoted slice of the online market since its launch in mid-2020.

Underpinned by a range of very distinctive and eye-catching designs, a hyper-responsiveness to consumer tastes and expertise in digital marketing, TURBA is reaping the rewards of delivering ultra-light, comfortable and high-quality cycling eyewear at prices hundreds of dollars cheaper than the leading premium brands.

Now the Sydney-based company is looking to partner with Australian stores to broaden its potential market.

Cyclists wearing TURBA eyewear
TURBA’s biggest seller, the Olympus (left), and its Angel model for riders who prefer a more conventional look with their eyewear, modelled by some of the many customers who submit photos of their new purchase with glowing testimonials.

While TURBA has enjoyed considerable year-on-year growth through its website and social media marketing, the benefits of teaming with bricks and mortar stores become apparent when European retail goliath Decathlon recognised the brand’s potential.

The retail chain approached TURBA and introduced the brand to its digital marketplace in Belgium, with rapid sell-out success, followed by Spain, the Netherlands and, as of this month, France.

Decathlon’s reputation and drawing power helped TURBA bridge a gap to European consumers and led to TURBA establishing a warehouse in Belgium to distribute throughout the continent.

After spending much of 2022 expanding in European markets, TURBA is now refocusing its attention to its home market and the opportunities to introduce its glasses to Australian stores.

Cyclist wearing TURBA eyewear
While TURBA sponsors a German continental road cycling team, the greatest celebration of the brand come from the extraordinary collection of testimonials from customers sold on the styles, finish and price of the range.

TURBA celebrated its third anniversary in May and, with a firm understanding now of the brand’s strengths and tailoring its eyewear styles to its growing following, the company is “laser focused” on growth, according to co-owner and founder Stefan Music.

He created TURBA as a project during the height of Covid restrictions. Close to completing a law degree and convinced that wasn’t the career for him, Stefan looked to sports retails as an alternative.

An elite middle-distance runner who always opted to race in mid-priced glasses rather than the fashionable brands – to avoid the “mini heart attack if you scratched or lost glasses you’d just paid $300 for” – Stefan saw the potential to produce and market high-quality glasses with very healthy profit margins, but still a fraction of the prices demanded by the market leaders.

Cyclist wearing TURBA eyewear
The Drago Mk II. TURBA set out to create eyewear vastly distinctive from other brands in their price range.

TURBA set out with a core objective to create cool and eye-catching designs that set it apart from other brands in the $90 to $150 price range.

“I’ve NEVER seen such High Quality at this price point, EVER!” – Gene

“The biggest thing is they had to look different to the styles you typically see when you walk into a bike shop,” Stefan said.

“Customers really love it when they can get a product that is good quality, hip and modern without having to pay an arm and leg for it.

“We see ourselves bridging the gap between the cool, upmarket options – for $250 to $300 or more – and the generic-looking lower-priced options.”

“Being a cyclist for over 43 years, TURBA glasses are the best I have ever had, as well as fantastic pricing make these my go-to glasses” – Alan.

A scroll through the customer comments on TURBA ’s website quickly confirms how TURBA ’s approach is paying dividends.

“Being in and around cycling my entire life and owning and sometimes being sponsored by several sunglass companies, I’ve gone through dozens of pairs and brands over my lifetime. I’ve NEVER seen such High Quality at this price point, EVER! … I showed these to 10 of my cycling friends to make sure I wasn’t imagining this. They all agreed with me ! These sunglasses are unparalleled to everything on the market at this price point!” – Gene

“The fit, price and quality of lens make these the best cycling sunnies I have ever brought” – Terry

“Being a cyclist for over 43 years, TURBA glasses are the best I have ever had. Excellent, quality, comfort and lenses, as well as fantastic pricing make these my go-to glasses” – Alan.

TURBA eyewear
TURBA’s quality finish package, with very prominent branding, also sets it apart from competitors within its price bracket.

“I saw these on Facebook and was surprised by the low price relative to the competition. In all honesty, these are better than my old Oakley Sutros but literally half the price. Very sturdy frame, crisp vision and really, really lightweight” – Louis

“I have two pairs of Oakleys and two pairs of Alba Optics and these are easily equal in quality but half the price. Nothing but love” – Alex.

“The fit, price and quality of lens make these the best cycling sunnies I have ever brought” – Terry

TURBA initially sourced designs from a number of Asian manufacturers, using their moulds to keep its start-up costs down and achieve its mid-range prices.

Cyclist wearing TURBA eyewear
TURBA’s push for a greater presence in Australian stores will help with the fact many consumers still want to try glasses on before they make a purchase.

Bright Colours and Bold Branding

It has matched those designs with distinctive bright colours, highly prominent branding, striking packaging and premium-grade polypropylene lenses.

“We tried out dozens of different designs and styles and colours. We doubled down on our best sellers and that brought us to a core range of really bright and bold colours that look flash on and off the bike,” Stefan said.

“There’s a core range of colours that is consistent across the styles, to help define our really distinct brand identity. That has been a major asset.”

While its models have evolved considerably during the past three years – “to give people what they want” – the TURBA Angels have been a staple in its range to provide an option people who like conventional styles.

Cyclist wearing TURBA eyewear
An approach by major European retailer Decathlon to stock TURBA glasses rapidly expanded the brand’s market in several EU countries and opened the eyewear company’s eyes to the potential of partnering with retailers.

TURBA’s best seller, the Olympus, has become particularly popular among mountain bike riders because the frame does not include a brow across the top of the lens.

“There’s nothing to obscure their vision when they’re on a sharp downhill,” Stefan explained.
The company is exploring new eyewear designs and ultimately moving the design process inhouse, but wants to solidify its place in the market first.

“It’s a logical next step, but for now we’re continuing to focus on keeping our costs down, building our reputation and maximising our sales outlets,” he said.

“We want to get our glasses on as many faces as possible.”

Cyclist wearing TURBA eyewear
The light weight, fit and overall comfort of TURBA eyewear has made it popular among many road and dirt riders, including a large number who have ridden for many years and worn several different brands.

TURBA has certainly had a lot of eyes on its glasses. Its marketing on Facebook in 2021 generated 5.5 million impressions and around 60% of them came from Australian consumers, according to Stefan, who also works as an account manager for a digital marketing firm.

“Our figures for the domestic market last year were slightly down on 2021 because much of our focus was on the partnership with Decathlon in Europe, but we’re broadening our view domestically again.

“This winter will really be about further building relationships with our Australian audience and setting up for a big summer.”

That includes teaming with stores to expose more people to TURBA and overcome the fact many people want to try glasses on before they buy.

Find out more about TURBA Optics by visiting https://TURBAoptics.com/ or contact Stefan Music at info@TURBAoptics.com or on 0425 334 716.

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