Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Modern Tailor - the Suit Fits - Just Like UC

Well, I'm sure only my most hard-core readers have been on the edge of their seats wondering about this.

Since the Fall, I've had a sponsorship deal going with Modern Tailor, a Web-based tailor service based in China. This may seem unusual for my blog - and it is - but I see it as a consumer-based extension of what we try to do in the world of UC - collaborate. Can't get much further away than China, and this has been a great example where geography is no longer a barrier in what has always been a highly personal, sensory-rich type of business.

If you need a refresh on the backstory or my experience with previous Modern Tailor orders, you can start here, and then follow the links embedded throughout that post.

So, just like dating a girl, you start small and work up to the good stuff. They made a couple of shirts for me and let me order a tie. The shirts required my measurements, and then I had to choose through a practically unlimited selection of fabrics/patterns/styles, along with a long list of customized features and accents. I know it's just a shirt, but doesn't this sound familiar? Y'know, a bit like personalizing your UC settings and preferences. It's the same thing in my book - that's what the Web and IP brings to just about everything we do now in terms of customization and self-provisioning.

I've already posted about how well those experiences went, and that goes a long way towards building up trust, which again, is essential for getting beyond the routine applications with UC. So, now it's time to step up to getting a suit. This is a much bigger leap of faith, and wouldn't be happening for me without that track record. The selection isn't as wide as for shirts, but the process was basically the same - with one exception.

Getting a suit to fit right is far more challenging than a shirt, so for a first-time order, there was an extra step involved. To get the best fit possible, I needed to send them a suit of mine that fits me well. I was ok with that, and they provided very clear instructions. I had to bear the cost - about $60, but keeping the big picture in mind, I know I'll be getting the suit back along with a new custom-fitted suit. There was some trepidation about ever seeing my suit again, along with getting it back in wearable condition, but I had faith, and they handled all of this just fine.

The only inconvenience really, was the time involved. I didn't ship at the cheapest rate, and certainly not the most expensive. From Toronto to Shanghai, my suit was enroute for about 5 weeks, so if you're in a hurry or can't be without that particular suit for a while, this isn't going to work. Add to that the time they need to make the new suit, then ship both back to me, and I'm out of pocket garment-wise for the better part of 8 weeks.

Fair enough, but I managed just fine wardrobe-wise, and for me the results were definitely worth it. The process I went through to select what I wanted in a suit was easy to follow, and the end product was very much as expected and as advertised. I don't wear suits every day, but I like dressing well, and there's nothing like a custom-fitted suit.

Would I do it again? Absolutely. Like a lot of things, once trust is in place and expectations are met - or exceeded - most of the friction is removed from the relationship. Presuming my body holds up ok, they only need my suit once, and then it's easy. Then, it's just a matter of selecting what I want, knowing that the fit will be fine. Their pricing is very fair, and you can easily spend a lot more off the rack without getting a great fit. Sure you'll get your suit a lot faster, but I'm in no rush. If that sounds like you, Modern Tailor should be a great choice for your next suit.


Anne Rogers said...

Hi Jon,

The suit analogy is pretty neat for UC. Like the suit, without having an easy to follow process to select what you want, and the real life result meeting expectations then the wheels fall completely off the wagon.

And similarly, you mightn't wear the suit every day but just like a comprehensive UC feature set it should be easy to have the option available for when you need it - and certainly not at great expense.

And, yes, it might take some time to plan but it's worth it in the end.

If this isn't a great reminder of how resellers should be taking a consultative approach to add value then I don't know what is!

Jon Arnold said...

Hi Anne - glad you liked the post, the analogy and I appreciate the comment. Thanks adding some color and tying this to resellers - that's great!