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DupliVet

Catnip-filled clones of your favorite vet.
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Overview

DupliVet is a new solution to an age-old problem for veterinarians - "How to get clients to bring their pets in for regular exams?"

The problem is that many well-intentioned pet-owners go years between visits to the vet because they simply "forget". Vets try to address this with a mixture of client-education and outreach, but with mixed-results. DupliVet changes that by focusing on fostering unique emotional connections.

My Role

I developed the concept, and was responsible for everything from design, prototyping, testing, to developing an international supply-chain. It was a totally new type of product management for me.

  • Consumer research
  • R&D and material testing
  • Design of the artwork used on the toy
  • Development of repeatable process
  • Coordination with international supply chain
  • Launch marketing

Philosophy

Help veterinarians take their client-relationship beyond the exam room

Opportunities

  • Many cat owners go years between visits to the vet (giving reasons like "I forgot")
  • Cat-owner spend ~$45 per year on toys
  • Although many veterinarians sell toys, most are the same options available in pet stores
  • 85% of consumers make a purchase after receiving a promotional product
  • 60% of consumers keep promotional items for at least 2 years
  • Given how often they're seen during those 2 years, promotional items have a $0.004 cost per impression (making them one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing)

Meet DupliVet

People can't help but laugh when they see their cats bunny-kicking the little doctor toys – which helps create a truly unique emotional connection.

Unique Designs

Designed to look just like the doctors.

In order to deepen the emotional connection between the client and their veterinarian, the toys are designed to look just like the doctors. That way, when clients laugh as their cat plays with the toy, they'll associate those warm and fuzzy feelings with the veterinary practice.
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Materials

Made with quality materials.

The toys have a durable canvas shell, and are filled with premium materials designed to encourage play. Of course there's catnip, but also the same type of plush filling as a teddy bear mixed with a material that makes a subtle "crinkle" noise that cats love.
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Customer Photos

Cats & cat-people love them.

Let's face it, these things are silly. So people love sharing pictures of them with their friends, which creates another unique way of promoting the practice in local markets.
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360 Degree View

Take one for a spin

(Click and drag to spin the toy)
(Tap and drag to spin the toy)

The Process

Over the course of this project I learned how to sew, worked with overseas manufacturers, and did all the design work myself. Here's a little peak behind the scenes.

Designed from scratch

In order to pitch the idea to an early client, I created a variety of sketches and illustrations to bring the idea to life. Then worked on translating those into digital templates so the whole process could be easily repeatable.

Initial Sketches

Vector Artwork

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Hand crafted the first prototypes

It is surprisingly difficult to translate a two-dimensional sketch into a three-dimensional cat toy. So, it took a number of iterations to get everything just right. Along the way, I also tested a variety of materials to find those that struck the right balance between durability and cat-friendliness.

Sewing

Materials Testing

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(That's me... sewing. It's weird, I know)

Developed a repeatable process

Working with domestic suppliers & overseas manufacturers, I created a supply chain that could be easily repeated as new orders come in. I also created templates for the intricate patterns needed to print on the fabric.

International Supply Chain

Pattern Making

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(The first batch of toys)

Launched at a cat-doctor conference

To get the word out to the right audience, I put together a launch plan that took us to a prominent veterinary conference. Our booth was often so crowded we couldn't talk to everyone, and a few people even tried to steal the prototypes we had with us.

Booth Design

Presentations

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(My wife and I, along with our first client)