Custom Leather iPad Case - Create Your Own!
The latest in a series of interviews about the story behind the design of MacCase products or in this case the new MacCase Custom Program.
The new MacCase Custom Program allows customers to choose a whole host of options to build a unique, one of a kind, custom leather iPad case to transport and protect their Apple tablet. For this interview, we are again speaking to MacCase President and Chief Creative Officer Michael Santoro.
JKD: The MacCase Custom Program is a few weeks old. What kind of response has it received?
MS: It's been a bit overwhelming actually. The requests are pouring in. It took over a week to catch up on all the submissions. We know we have some of the most creative, dynamic people in the world using our products. We just didn't know that if given the chance to build the custom MacBook Pro or iPad Pro case of their dreams, if they'd want to. With the amount of custom case submissions coming in every day, we can say the answer is yes!
JKD: Is this a surprise?
MS: You never know the response you're going to get. The life is taking chances, taking risks. Some of those risks fail. Not everything you do in life works out. Hopefully you learn from the failures and apply that to the next risk you take. We've had our share of failures but sometimes things work out.
At least initially, customers seem to be responsive to creating a custom leather iPad case that not only meets their needs but has a unique, one-of-a-kind aesthetic that is truly personal. That's exciting.
Custom Leather iPad Case - Decisions, Decisions
JKD: I know we've talked before about the Program launch. Can you give us some background on how things took shape? What were some of the challenges?
MS: Sure. When MacCase was planning the Custom Laptop Case program, we reviewed dozens of potential colors for exterior hides, interior fabrics and even thread colors. Along with the colors for exterior hides, we reviewed exterior finishes.
Leather can be finished in almost an infinite variety of gloss levels, smoothness, textures and tones. Even metallic finishes are available. As the options were discussed, I kept coming back to the core values of MacCase Design: Authenticity, timelessness, quality and an original sense of style.
The challenge was how to narrow down the options so the program could make financial sense, but yet still offer a broad range of colors and finishes that customers could be truly expressive and creative with.
Of course we would offer the 2 production colors and finishes, pebble grain black and distressed, vintage brown. They we already in the system and were very popular. But what other options should be offered?
When the Premium Leather Collection was first launched 10 years ago, there were 7 color options in the line including Chocolate, Red, Pink Tan, and even a warm, almost white Cream. While these colors sold well, they didn't sell nearly well enough to keep the tannery busy tanning hides in these colors. Eventually they were dropped but not forgotten.
JKD: What criteria was used to pick the final colors and finishes?
MS: Some were easy as we were getting customers who were already asking for smooth hides, smooth black, smooth chocolate browns, etc. So we knew these were going to be on the list.
Because our production color palette of pebble grain black and distressed brown tends to lean more towards the masculine side of the spectrum, I wanted to make sure we had some options for women who may have always admired our designs but wanted something a lot more fashionable than black or what you like to call "cowboy brown", (laughing).
So Red, Pink, Tan, and Chocolate Brown were added to the assortment in various finishes as well.
This opens up the spectrum to what's possible and allows someone who was not in love with black or distressed brown to build a custom leather iPad case that looks like the case they see in their minds eye. This is at the heart of what the program is all about.
People feel really close, almost an emotional connection, to their Apple products. Through our Custom Program, a customer can create and we can build for them, a custom leather iPad case that they can be in love with.
The responses to the mock up images that the customers receive as part of the Custom Program form submission are purely emotional. I have never seen this level of emotion from customers. It's great to see this kind of response and to have them so involved in the process. Again, this is what the program is all about.
Custom Leather iPad Case - An Early Surprise
JKD: Now that the Custom page is live and request for quotes are coming in, have there been any surprises regarding what people are asking for?
MS: Most definitely. One of the wild card colors we choose to include was Blue Vintage. I cannot say what the impetus was for choosing it only that over the years customers have asked for a custom leather iPad case in Navy Blue or Baby Blue. So I had a sense that a blue might do well.
The Blue Vintage is a rich, deep color with all the character of our vintage hides and looks exceptionally beautiful against white stitching. This color has been a very popular choice so far, whether it's a custom leather iPad case or a full shoulder bag bundled set.
JKD: Have there been other colors that have surprised you?
MS: I wouldn't say the other colors have been a surprise as much as a confirmation. Chocolate brown in both the pebble grain and smooth finish has been popular as well as pink.
JKD: What about models? What models are people looking to customize?
MS: Offhand I would say half of the requests that have come in are for a custom leather iPad case for the 9.7 in one form or another followed closely by requests for custom iPad Pro cases. Folios lead the way.
Again, the iPad is a much more personal experience because you touch it differently than you do say, a laptop keyboard. So seeing so many requests to personalization for our iPad Pro Folios is not a surprise.
JKD: You offer monogram services as part of the Program. Are customers choosing this option?
MS: Yes, overwhelmingly so. I would say the run rate for monograms, personal logos and company logos is about 90% of the quotes we are doing. One really positive aspect to our Program is that if you choose to get a custom die created for your custom leather iPad case or other other model, we keep the die.
So if in the future, you order another custom case, we can add your logo to the new case at a minimal cost. That is a huge value added for our long term, loyal customers who participate in this program more than once.
JKD: I'm happy to hear the Program is off to a good start. As always, thank you for your time.
MS: Anytime Jody.
"The goal is to build the custom leather iPad case that the customer sees in their minds eye..."