Business Model: Studios + Malls + Events
Location: San Francisco, California
“Very reliable hardware, extremely responsive technical support, energetic team committed to pushing the boundaries of full body 3D scanning while offering a highly economical platform on which to build a business. We were profitable from day one and have grown steadily since.”
-Dylan Saloner, Owner of PocketMe
1. Tell me about PocketMe. Where are you located? Who is your target market?
DYLAN: We have a couple stationary retail locations in the the Bay Area, spanning San Francisco the East Bay. We also offer on-site 3D scans for corporate events and weddings.
We get a lot of tourists, who just pass by and drop in. But we also precision-target to a number of very specific sub-markets: newly engaged couples for wedding cake toppers; pregnant ladies; cosplay enthusiasts; pet owners, etc…. That having been said, we take a pretty broad view of the market for PocketMe: every man, woman, child, and dog should have at least one 3D portrait made of themselves in their lifetime!
2. What’s the most popular product you sell?
DYLAN: As far as sizes, the Medium and Large sizes are the best sellers. We also do a lot of couples and families. (People like to get PocketMes with other people because it’s an expression of their interpersonal relationship frozen in time.) We get a fair number of people who order digital 3D scans only, which they use for a variety of cool and unexpected purposes!
3. Before deciding to purchase a Twinstant what were you using to scan people?
DYLAN: I’m an electrical engineer by training, so I actually started this business with my own custom 3D scanner, which used an array of 80 point-and-shoot cameras. My scanner produced some pretty nice images, but when I saw how portable the Twinstant was, I knew their design had me beat.
4. What was the biggest factor for you in deciding to go with the Twinstant Mobile?
DYLAN: There were a lot of factors:
The final scan quality was the primary factor in deciding to purchase a unit. The biggest problem with the scanner that I built was resolving scans with solid black clothes. The structured light projectors in the Twinstant solved this problem. This is a very practical feature and a key technical differentiator from other 3D scanners on the market.
The mobility gives us a lot of flexibility as a business. (I can fit the entire unit in my Ford Fusion!).
The system is also geared for demand, and has excellent customers-per-hour throughput.
Finally, Twindom’s technical support is fast, friendly, and efficient.
5. Now that you’ve been using your Twinstant, what specific features do you like most about the Twinstant Mobile and using the Twindom Manager?
DYLAN: The manager is simple and intuitive. I also appreciate that I can integrate third-party CRM, so I can automate transaction and marketing activities efficiently and flexibly.
6. If you could tell people new to the 3D printed figurine industry one thing, what would it be?
DYLAN: As the saying goes … location, location, marketing and customer service!
Location is going to be the biggest determinant of your success if you do stationary retail. Choose your spot carefully. You’ll want a combination of high foot traffic carefully (stopwatch and clipboard time!); high disposable income profile; and the “unique eyeball” factor.
In addition to location, good customer service is king. We guarantee that every customer is delighted with the final product.
Make sure you have all a comprehensive marketing plan in place so you can hit the ground running. Earned media is great, and you can also be very surgical and systematic in how you deploy digital marketing. Don’t underestimate the importance of appearance and branding. Invest in making sure that your retail displays and marketing materials are attractive and informative. Finally, be creative in established cross-promotion with local businesses.