iPad Pro Messenger Bags - Behind the Exciting New Design
The latest in a series of interviews about the story behind the design of MacCase products.
For this interview, we are again speaking to MacCase President and Chief Creative Officer Michael Santoro about the company's new iPad Pro Messenger Bags.
JKD - These new iPad Pro Messenger Bags are the company's first messenger models geared towards a tablet. What do you want potential customers to know about this new model?
MS - A long time ago someone did a review of our original MacCase Messenger Bags and gallantly called it "the most versatile messenger bag they had ever tested" or something to that effect. That made me very happy. I always want MacCase models to offer a "value added".
This new iPad Pro Messenger Bag follows the original format and if and when it is reviewed, I would not be surprised if the reviewer commented on the inherent versatility that we've built into it. So what I want potential customers to know about this new model is that it's a great value and part of that value comes from how versatile it is.
JDK - I know you like to talk about value added. Why is this bag a great value as well as being super protective?
MS - Having the messenger shell and the iPad Pro sleeve together allows for countless possibilities for the customer. Yes they can be used together, but they can just as often be used separately. You could go out and spend, let's say, $50-100 on a decent messenger bag. Then go out and spend $20-40 on a decent sleeve.
So if you bought the cheapest, lowest quality of each part, sleeve and bag, you'd still be into it for somewhere around $70. I can guarantee that the $70 you'd spend on this theoretical combo package will in no way equal the quality, design, functionality and style of our package for that same $70.
On the high end, if you spent the max of our little scale, you'd be in it for $140 and still maybe not surpass what our package offers. If you manage to find a sleeve and bag combo that's equal to our new model in the ways I named, congratulations, you just spent $140 on something you could have bought from MacCase for $70. The value is there.
JDK - Can you talk about how someone might use the sleeve and shell separately?
MS - Sure. Say you're going to the gym and don't need to take your iPad Pro with you. The sleeve stays at home with your iPad Pro safely inside but you still have a fully functioning messenger bag that you can throw all youth gym gear in and it will handle it without a problem.
Like we discussed before with our iPad Pro Backpack, if you have a roller suitcase or piece of luggage and want to store your iPad Pro in it when you are traveling, you can use the sleeve to insure the tablet stays safe during that trip. This time the messenger bag stays home. The point is again, the versatility. For $70 you're buying so much convenience and so many real world user options.
You know your very large, very expensive Apple tablet is always protected as well having a general day use bag you can use all the time. Together they're unstoppable but used separately they also excel.
JDK - We spoke about the new iPad Pro Sleeve in our last discussion. Anything you want to add about the Sleeve now?
MS - I think this has the potential to be a very popular model. As I mentioned in our last talk, the design is based around the center stripe that creates the pocket for the Apple Pencil. I've seen a few of the iPad Pro cases and sleeves for the iPad Pro that have come out and I'd be very weary of how they are handling the Apple Pencil. There is a huge difference between holding the Pencil and protecting the Pencil. Our nylon sleeve, like all our iPad Pro cases, is designed from the ground up to protect the Pencil, not just hold it. This is an important point.
If I am dropping $100 on the Pencil, there is no way I am just sliding into some elastic loop that was sewn on to the outside of a case as an afterthought. Once the word gets out about how protective and functional this sleeve is, I think it will find it's audience. I understand not everyone wants to spend over $100 on a leather iPad Pro Sleeve. You get all the protection, all the design content of that much pricer model for a fraction of the price with our nylon model.
That's why we still do our nylon products. I feel if I can take a really good solution that we have executed in leather and knock it off in nylon. It's better to have MacCase knock itself off than have someone else to do it. (Laughing).
As the creators of the Apple specific case market, we started with nylon. When we went upmarket and invented the space above nylon with our Premium Leather Collection, I did not want to abandon our nylon customers. As a designer, each material offers challenges and each customer group appreciates how well we meet those challenges. If it's done well, it's a win-win for everybody.
JKD - Changing gears a bit, Apple released the new 9.7" iPad Pro this week. What is your response?
MS - My response personally or from MacCase's perspective? (Laughing)
JKD - How will MacCase respond?
MS - From a company standpoint, it's very positive and opens up more opportunity for us. It's a line extension thing for them and it will be for us as well. Tim Cook said a few things that I called out a long time ago about the iPads replacing laptops. For Apple, it's a no brainer. This is what they want. They make so much more money on iPads than they do on MacBooks. In the near term, we will have a Folio for the 9.7 as soon as we can. People are already calling and emailing asking us when we'll have it.
JKD - So back to the iPad Pro Messenger Bags. What is the takeaway you want people to know or realize about this new model.
MS - If you're new to Apple products, and a lot of our nylon customers are first time Apple buyers, understand Apple portable protection is all we do. If weren't doing it really, really well, we would have been gone a long time ago.
I put my heart and soul into each one of these designs. Do I always get it right? No, of course not. U2 makes a bad record once in a while. And if I do miss something, the customers let me know right away, which is great.
I think these new iPad Pro Messenger Bags really gets it right. It's super light, super protective, very functional, contemporary without being trendy and feature for feature, the best value out there. This is a solution a lot of people across a broad spectrum are looking for.
Two things are going to happen if someone is shopping messenger bags for an iPad Pro. They'll either spend a week looking all over the internet and then eventually find www.mac-case.com and think, "This is the best bag I've seen all week". And buy one.
Or, since we are showing up on page one of google's search results for a lot of the iPad Pro keywords, find us very early in their search and think, "Humm, this looks like exactly what I'm looking for, but I'd better spend a week searching all over the internet so I'm sure". And they will and then come back to us and buy one.
You know I answer the phones, Jody. This is what people tell me they are doing. I ask all the time how people find us. Many times it's during a week long search and they find us early or find us late, but the important thing is they come back and by a MacCase. These iPad Pro Messenger Bags should insure than continues.