As I researched the Serengeti Sunglasses history I discovered how an invention became an iconic product.
Serengeti Sunglasses History – The Company
The Serengeti Sunglasses history shows how a glass manufacturing company takes an unusual path to becoming a popular sunglasses brand.
Serengeti eyewear started out as a division of Corning Incorporated, a 160 + year old worldwide company.
Corning possesses substantial research capabilities and in 1964 one of it’s employees invents photochromic lenses.
These photochromic lenses would darken in bright sunlight and then lighten in lower light.
The result was that this invention propelled Corning into becoming a major player in the sunglass business.
Corning still sells eyeglass blanks to eyeglass manufacturers, and after the invention of photochromic lenses decides to enter the sunglass market itself.
In 1982 the company creates the Corning Sunglass Products Division with the goal of creating premium sunglasses to capture a share of the consumer market.
The sunglasses started out priced slightly above the market because of the premium lenses and superior quality.
And so Serengeti Sunglasses comes into existence.
The Early Years
Early results for the new product line were good; however, after the first year, substantial losses occurr as a result of Corning’s lack of experience in the consumer business.
Soon Corning discovers that it is not very good at marketing to consumers.
By 1984 the company considers closing the new venture, but a manager named Zaki Mustafa urges senior management to reconsider.
He is given a second chance to make the business succeed and as a result that request was granted.
Mustafa has bet his career on saving the Serengeti brand and quickly takes control of Serengeti and begins making changes.
The first change is to reposition the brand by returning to Corning’s traditional strength in technology.
Next, Mustafa makes the Serengeti logo prominent on the sunglasses and re-positions itself and as a result becomes a male oriented brand.
By January 1985 Serengeti Sunglasses has reemerged with aggressive word of mouth advertising. Everywhere there were high profile sports events attendees would see Serengeti Sunglasses.
Over the next few years sales and profit margin increased, and as a result in 1993 they began to add new products.
In the year 2000 Bushnell acquired the Serengeti Sunglasses line.
As a result today opticians, eye care specialists and sport enthusiasts recognize the lenses in Serengeti Sunglasses to be among the best in the world.
Furthermore, Serengeti’s Spectral Control® technology in the sunglass lenses helps them to become the best sunglasses available today.
Spectral Control® filters out the blue light waves which reduces retinal glare while enhancing contrast.
Serengeti Eyewear Timeline
The chronological history of Serengeti Sunglasses follows:
- In 1851 the Corning Glass Works is started by Amory Houghton in Sommerville, MA;
- In 1969 Roger J. Araujo patents photochromic lenses invention;
- On December 28th 1971 Araujo assigns the photochromic lens patent to Corning Glass Works;
- It is 1982 and the Serengeti brand of sunglasses are born;
- By 1984 and after anemic growth Corning’s board of directors considers closing the division;
- But in 1985 Zaki Mustafa, head of the Serengeti division, convinces Corning to save the division and to give him a chance to make it successful;
- In 1992 Serengeti sunglasses sales reach $ 62M;
- But in 1995 Corning decides to sell the division and get out of the retail sunglasses business;
- In 2000 Bushnell purchases the Serengeti product line;
- In the present day Bushnell continues to manufacture and sell Serengeti sunglasses.
You can find a great selection of Serengeti Sunglasses right here on our website at our Serengeti Product Page.
Keep your eyes cool and protected today!