Interview with Yeon-hee Lee, the developer of MODI nails
Q) What is your policy on a meeting for design?
A) There is no particular meeting plan because it is processed with only a few members. It’s more inconvenient to make time and meet. Everything is preceeded through just phone calls or e-mails. Then we can have a meeting for 20 minutes before eating lunch or even just getting off of work.
Q) Who suggests some ideas about the products first?
A) I do. I suggest to our production company that I want to launch a product of special color and feeling. Sometimes, the production company suggests to me, “How about this?” Several times people have asked me, “How many people work on MODI nails?” No one, just me alone. I decide most of the work alone from choosing the color and texture to deciding a release. It is a lot of work but it’s a good thing as I have a new coworker.
Q) Where do you usually get your inspiration for these products?
A) I frequently search the Internet. It is a sea of information, isn’t it? I usually get inspiration in either America or Europe in the quickly shifting trend. Furthermore, I’m inspired by Fashion Week or trend colors from abroad. I sometimes launch colors I like. For example, when neon colors were launched, I liked the color mint but why is there no neon-mint? So ‘Mint Trouble’ was launched like that.
Q) When you decide the production, what is the most important thing?
A) The most important thing is the season. Does the product’s color suit the season? For example, I have a very beautiful burgundy color, but as I couldn’t launch the one in the summer, I’m saving it and will launch it in autumn. Second, how interesting and unique is it? Manicures inherently have fancy and flashy features. Unique and interesting manicures receive love from people.
Q) What is your policy on evaluating and deciding on a mass production and distribution of the products?
A) After the products are made and before they are launched, I recommend that colleagues try the products for one week. Then I ask them how the texture is, how the gloss is, or how long it lasts. Someone might like this but others might like that because everyone is different. But there is no particular criteria.
Q) Sandnails are made in France, why?
A) The biggest reason is that the quality of formula or mixing color of the French factories is higher. They have a long history and have made a lot of products, more than those of Korea. They lead the trend as well. As there are factories that produce expensive manicures like Chanel at the production company of MODI, it cannot be but good quality.
Q) What is the process for making MODI in factory?
A) At first I send pictures of the color that want to have made to a production company. Then, after putting the base and the main color and mixng them, they send it to me. The color I want should not be different from what they make in the factory. If what I want is this (Absolute in MODI nails), but what they send is this (Voicejin in MODI nails). Then there is too much yellow. I demand that they make it again similar to the color I want. After the process, the product is sent to a mass production and filled in each bottle. Finally, it’s completed.
Q) Then what is the reason that those prices are the same with products made in Korea?
A) No one likes paying a higher price for any reason. Even though they are made in France, they don’t want to raise the price. The most important thing to us is customer satisfaction, so we launched products made in France with the same price. That is why the profit from products made abroad, are a little low.
Q) Who has the strongest power for launching?
A) Again, I do. As the process is highly fluid, the developer has the power over almost everything. I decide every color and texture and finally, I receive a settlement from the general manager. Sometimes the manager will say that it’s not good, then I will work on it again. The number of launching is decided by the sales team and the demand plan team.
Q) I know some 400 colors of MODI were launched for about a year and half. How could they be launched in such a short time?
A) I think the reason is on-going communication with consumers. We catch quickly what they want and launch products quickly. We have a blog and consumers say what product they want. Then we keep track. We catch the demand and launch the products quickly.
Q) What are the pros of MODI?
A) It is similar with SPA brand. As we usually do an abroad tracking, we put and erase products quickly according to the trend. We put new products and erase products having a low demand. So, there are pretty many products that are discontinued.
Q) How much are the sales? A) Last year, ten million pieces were sold. One of five among all people own MODI nails.
Q) What is your marketing strategy to consumers?
A) It is to promote and react to the opinion of consumers. A product, similar to an OPI color that was launched in February, was just launched in April by us. Print nails that you can customize with a picture you want on your nails were launched by MODI right after being in vogue. Moreover, there are many events and many people like them.
Q) The demand of manicure tends to be limited to women. Is there any way to expand the target market?
A) The demand of manicure tends to be limited to women in their twenties and thirties. We tried to communicate with consumers. For example, to make the target market for an older women, there are more jell nails in store of apartment complexes to attract middle aged women.
Q) What is the reason MODI is sold within the 2,500-6,500 won range?
A) Compared with foreign products, it’s cheap. However, it’s not a cheap domestic product. We try to reduce the price by minimizing subsidiary materials. A bottle of manicure is always the same, but the content is always different. So we try to supply only what the consumer needs.
Many women palpitate at the new products of MODI more than the changing season and blooming flowers. They will not even cast a look at the 1+1 events at ‘Homeplus,’ but they will wait night and day for the 1+1 MODI event. I followed the process of how MODI nails are made from it being a vague idea, like cloud, to a glittering, complete product in a black cap. It was the most surprising that MODI which makes many women’s heart flutter with only two syllables is made by the hands of one person. Next, which MODI nails make our wallets open!