Jason Weisenthal, CEO at Wallmonkeys.com knows a thing or two about finding a target market. The New Jersey native owned a retail shoe store for many years before he ventured into the world of removable graphics, where he has found tremendous success selling over 2 million in revenue.
Today, Wallmonkeys.com offers 20 million images as removable wall graphics. They also print custom photos, business logos, and trade show graphics serving dozens of companies, hundreds of professional photographers, and thousands of customers.
A home run idea:
Although Jason’s shoe business was doing well, he had a hunger, like many entrepreneurs do, to find the next big idea. Jason admits he had little research under his belt when the initial idea struck him during his son’s Little League game.
“I was looking for other businesses to start and came across large format printers. This was right when Fathead started to get popular with the life size decals of professional athletes. I thought that was a great business, but no one was offering custom images of kids playing sports. The idea continued to bounce around my head, so I decided to just figure out the business and got started,” he said.
Finding a target market and sticking with it:
Jason invested in his first large format printer, estimated at roughly 25,000 and began selling large scale wall decals. The initial decals faced a variety of challenges including poor photo quality and questionable product material. According to Jason, many of the photos sent into the site were extremely difficult to enlarge and maintain quality and high resolution. Additionally, some of the early product materials did not properly stick to the wall and began peeling off prematurely.
Finally, after several bumps in the road, Jason started to gain momentum and a reputation in the industry. He purchased a second printer to keep up with the flooding orders from parents wanting life size wall decals of their sons or daughters playing sports.
It wasn’t long until this market expanded to main stream images, gaining attention from well known Sports Analyst Darren Rovell (now at ESPN) as one of the best Christmas gifts on CNBC. Wallmonkeys also experienced substantial growth after receiving approval to use images from The National Geographic.
Why a niche market matters:
According to Jason, to be a successful retailer you must have a clear understanding of who your target market is, their behavior and their potential relationship with the brand.
“Know your customer and know your product. It is better to serve a niche well, than serve a larger market poorly. We know Wallmonkey’s price point is not for everyone, and we do not try to sell to everyone.”
By maintaining the integrity of his product’s vision and sticking with his target market, Jason was able to build a solid business foundation before moving into a much bigger pond.
Facing new customer challenges:
As Wallmonkey’s transitions into a mature stage of business growth, the company now faces new challenges with customers.
“In 2105, Wallmonkeys is going to offer additional materials throughout our site, including peel and stick wallpaper. With our huge selection and fast turn around, we are going to change how people view wallpaper. We also plan on rolling out a few new products that take advantage of our vast print on demand catalog,” he said.
“Common challenges with customers can vary wildly. Amazon has changed the expectation of delivery, so even for a custom product with a very fast turn around, some customers want to know why it takes several days to receive their delivery. Dealing with millions of images and custom sizing, we deal with lots of indecision and needing to guide our customers to the best choice for them.”
“I think the emphasis on the last mile, actually delivering the product is going to get more attention. Same day delivery and one hour delivery will become more common as other companies make deals to deliver. Whether it is Uber, or a company like Uber, companies will emerge that focus on delivering products , instead of people to the front door. There may be more money in delivering items for a big box store than driving an Uber.”