Modify Watches makes what they call “super-dope,” interchangeable watches. Faces and straps can be mixed-and-matched as your whims of self-expression change. With millions of strap and watch combinations, they’re designed to be collected, swapped-out and shared with friends—they’re made for every person on every budget. With interchangeable straps and faces, consumers can build a “Modify wardrobe” and mix and match to create new looks. With three Modify Watches, you really have nine completely distinct looks; or in nerd-parlance, “factorials of fun”!
The company was founded in 2010 by Aaron Schwartz and Gary Coover. The two had met during college at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. The company started with a vision to provide an outlet for people to “show their colors and reflect their personal style.” The big idea behind Modify is a realization that individuals are dynamic, yet are forced to purchase products with predetermined designs. However, there is a big movement into customization –prominent brands such as Nike, Mini and even Burberry are offering customization programs where consumers get to design their own product instead of relying on one or two styles or color ways. Modify wants to be at the forefront of this trend. Since watches are a staple item for most everyone, their first product was Modify Watches.
“The beauty of Modify is that it’s a platform for self-expression; we don’t just make watches,” says Aaron. “You are a San Francisco Giants fan? We have a license with the Major League Baseball Player’s Association, so we can make you a Buster Posey watch. You want a cool new pair of sunglasses, how about an interchangeable Modify pair? You want different materials, we can move into that.”
They were also on a mission to create a truly consumer-centric company as a next generation of “Delivering Happiness” model made famous by Zappos. They’re driven to listen to their customers and create new products and designs based on their feedback, and above-all, they want to deliver a superlative customer experience—perhaps even a “super-dope” one.
So how do they strive to obtain super-dope customer status? They try hard to maintain affordable pricing, write thank-you notes to customers, offer free product, arrange special shipments – basically, anything a Modify customer wants, she or he will probably get. The watches are hand-packed and shipped out of the company’s San Francisco offices. And, Aaron’s known for occasionally dropping notes, or even his business card inside the shipments—including his cellphone number, in case there are any questions or suggestions. “There cannot be a one-size-fits-all customer experience. We have a goal of delighting customers, and the onus is on our team to make sure that every customer feels incredibly valued,” says Aaron.
Aaron explains it best: “We focus on two things, every day. First, we listen to our customers. On our packaging we say, “we are not craftsmen, we’re just good at listening to you.” We mean that. By constantly talking with customers we can learn what they want us to do better, and we can also get a feel for what we’re doing right. Second, there are no gimmicks with Modify. We’re goofy and we create ridiculous high-fives. So we share those videos with our fans. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and I often come across as a dork in our messaging and interviews – but that’s genuine dorkiness. We know conversations about watches can only go so far, so we don’t talk about watches all of the time – we have real conversations with our fans.”
The folks at Modify believe there is inherent value in creating interchangeable products. The combinations, of course, are endless, as are the product opportunities. So what’s beyond watches? Perhaps interchangeable sunglasses, interchangeable backpack panels, or maybe even interchangeable salt and pepper shakers!
Keep an eye on Modify Watches!