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Archive for May, 2010

Duquesa Marketing Appointed Managing Consultants for Launch of Exciting New Line of Wellness Pillows

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Press Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Geoff Ficke
859-567-1609
gficke@msn.com

La Scentsationals™ Pillows to Debut in Exclusive Retail
Distribution in North American Market in Fall 2010

Florence, KY Geoff Ficke, President of award winning international marketing and product development firm Duquesa Marketing announced today that his Company has been retained by Moraga, CA based La Scentsationals™ Pillows to act as managing consultants for the fall 2010 retail launch of that design houses line or artisan crafted wellness pillows.

“Until we met Lisa Gillett I thought we had seen all there was to see in the aromatherapy and sensual wellness product category”, said Geoff Ficke, President of Duquesa Marketing.”Her La Scentsationals pillows are stunning examples of assembling a luxury product utilizing the finest, rarest components and assembling with old fashioned artisan craftsmanship and care”.

“I looked for a firm that could provide strength, creativity and experience across a range of competencies”, said Lisa Gillett, President and Creator of La Scentsational Pillows”. “Until I met Geoff and Nancy Ficke I was beginning to think my goal was too broad. But I kept at it and finally I was able to meet Duquesa Marketing and I knew I had found the best possible fit for me and my products”.

“We look forward to managing the sales, product development and packaging process and finally marketing the product to the higher end of the retail gift and specialty store trade”, said Nancy Ficke, General Manager of Duquesa Marketing. “Lisa is very creative and her passion is apparent in the workmanship and unique product benefits of La Scentsational pillows”.

Duquesa Marketing has been creating and marketing a wide range of consumer products for 40 years. The Company has extensive experience in all channels of distribution and international product placement.

Wall Street Journal Opinion Page May 22-23, 2010 “Bush Tax Cuts Raised Revenue Considerably”

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Wall Street Journal Opinion Page May 22-23, 2010
by: Geoff Ficke

Frank Schuchat’s letter of May 18 excoriating Martin Feldstein’s gymnastic ability for supporting the George W. Bush tax cuts and decrying budget deficits shows a lack of understanding of basic economics.

According to OMB, Federal revenues in 2000 were 1.99 billion dollars. In 2008, after several years of the horrid, fully employed Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, Federal revenues hit a record 2.57 Billion dollars, a record. Economics 101: If you want more of an outcome (revenue in this case) penalize it (tax) less. Over and over tax cuts have been utilized to stimulate productive activities which benefit the economy and thus stimulate government revenues.

President Bush erred in not clamping down on a rapacious, wreckless Congress and putting the brakes on their spending. It is a lesson that our current President has not only not learned, but has worked mercilessly to exceed.

An Immigration Policy All Sides Should Be Able to Get Behind

Monday, May 24th, 2010

by: Geoff Ficke

In the 1980’s the Reagan Administration supported passage of the Simpson-Mazzoli Act as a way to, once and for all, to end the vexing cauldron of problems created by illegal immigration. Obviously Simpson-Mazzoli was not successful. In fact, the law, and it’s particularly fuzzy enforcement mechanisms only served to accelerate and fuel the problem.

Today we have a mess. Rational solutions are paralyzed by our politically cancerous left versus right cat fighting. Even reasoned discussions of potential solutions to a problem that all parties agree must be settled are reduced to sloganeering and name calling. Let me propose a simple set of solutions that could, really should, settle the matter to a high degree of satisfaction benefitting all sides in this crucial, heated debate.

We really have three sets of distinct interest groups involved: the illegal immigrants (mostly Hispanic and Mexican) and the Mexican government, the American business community that requires a massive supply of labor and the citizens of the United States who are being exposed to the costs and liabilities inherent in supporting public services for millions of people that have entered the country illegally and are forced to live in the shadows.

First let’s address the business community. Any employer that needs field workers, gardeners, restaurant workers, whatever, would have to advertise the positions in local print media two times, stating pay, benefits, location of employment and a description of labor to be performed. This will also prove or disprove the theory that Americans will not perform menial jobs.

If the positions are not filled with local, legal American job seekers, then the employer would have the option to address their labor requirements through a labor co-operative. This would NOT be a new government bureaucracy, but would be under the jurisdiction of the Dept. of Labor. Private staffing firms like Manpower, companies with experience in the field of matching employee and employer needs, would be contracted to act as clearing houses. They would staff offices along the Mexican border, and in countries such as El Salvador and Guatemala.

The employers would pay a small fee to the government for each person hired and to the contracted human resource, Manpower-type firms for their time, expenses, background checks and matching applicants to positions. The employer, by participating in such a labor co-operative, would no longer be committing a crime and risk serious fines and legal jeopardy that can occur when hiring illegal workers. The employer would provide the co-operative with an order for a specific number of workers, copies of the print advertisements run locally seeking American workers, clearly post pay, locations of employment, benefits, housing and the length of the work engagement. There would be time limits on service, not to exceed one year. After a minimum return period of three months to their home country, a foreign worker can re-sign for another tour of employment.

The employer would be required to handle any medical costs incurred by the co-operative provided worker and provide travel to, and from, the point of embarkation at the beginning and end of the contract. The employer would pay a significant fine if the worker does not return to the embarkation point, on time and sign-out on their way out of the country. A small tax would be withheld from the workers pay to support the program and it’s policing. A card dated and signed by the employer and the worker, and describing job particulars would be used for identification.

This would provide American farms and businesses a simple, affordable, easily negotiated system of filling labor needs.

Now let’s address the illegal immigrants and their government’s interests.
The first duty of any sovereign government is to protect their citizens. And yet, illegal immigrants are the targets of the most corrupt, dangerous and cynical forms of abuse enabled by the very governments that encourage this form of immigration from Latin America. Crooked police and border patrols shake down poor, frightened, confused travelers. Dangerously hopping trains in the night, co-mingling with drug couriers, rape, murder, robbery and kidnapping of illegal immigrants is widespread and tolerated.

Under a labor co-operative system these abuses would be virtually stopped. Job seekers could visit their town hall or a labor co-operative office and use a computer to apply and peruse job listings. They could review online, conduct a search of positions listed by job description and location and then apply. If for instance, a farmer in Earlington, KY is seeking 8 laborers for 9 months, the deal can be cut and travel organized without ever having to risk one’s life dodging snakes in Central American jungles or crossing bleak deserts and being dumped in an arroyo by extorting “coyotes”. The thousands of dollars in fees paid to the illegal human transporters would be far better utilized by the very poor who so desperately seek work in the United States.

Latin American governments, the very governments that do not recognize the rule of law, property rights and the importance of free markets, callously encourage illegal immigration. This black movement of their citizens acts as a pressure release valve on their societies. The billions of dollars in remittances that are returned to family back home by illegal immigrants to America serves as a lubricant to quieting social tensions and financially supporting populations locked in poverty and despair by the incompetence and corruption of the governments under which they must live.

Under a labor co-operative system these bureaucratic ogres would still enjoy the benefits of billions in annual remittances returning to their countries. Families could continue to subsist, albeit in grinding hopelessness and poverty. Government’s duty to protect its citizens would at least be celebrated a bit less cynically.

Finally, how would the American citizen benefit from an organized labor co-operative system? Labor would finally be organized, free to come for a set period of time, return home and pay a small tax to cover the minor cost of the services they would consume. This would over time lighten the burdens on social services, hospitals, police forces, school systems, local, state and the federal government. As long as immigrants commit a crime the first time they step foot into the country illegally there will be a parallel universe inside our society of crime, evasion and a lack of integration into society.

Cities would be safer. Businesses would be able to provide the goods and services that the society has come to expect. The millions of illegal immigrants currently here in the country would be able to participate in the labor co-operative system, but they would be granted no benefits beyond what any other applicant would receive. Anchor babies would no longer be given the rights of an American citizen.
Any employer who is caught employing illegal workers after the labor co-operative system is functional would be subject to exponentially larger fines and seizure of all business assets.

Finally, the border must be sealed. No country can survive the causal entry and exit of its border by millions of people at will. Our border is a particularly enticing target for illegal crossing because it separates a wealthy country with a too-generous welfare state, from a group of countries with dysfunctional economies where poverty is the rule, not the exception for the masses. Understandably, it is a magnet, but it is long past the time when we must close the border while responding to the needs of illegal immigrants to work, businesses to have employees to do manual labor and citizens to be relieved of the burden of supporting a stupefying drain on the public purse caused by this solvable problem.

Politicians seeking to curry favor with a new group of voters or see their populations rid of a mass of mostly young, hungry laborers seeking what they cannot provide, will not like this plan. They prefer to keep the issue and not find a solution. If the government will only allow a private enterprise solution, one where markets rule, not bureaucrats, we can finally settle these problems. It is time for a little common sense.

La Scentsationals™ Engages Kaston Group to Create Retail Store Display Program for Fall-2010 Retail Launch

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Press Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Geoff Ficke
859-567-1609
gficke@msn.com

Artisan Crafted Wellness Pillows to Be Sold in Exclusive Limited Distribution Rollout

Moraga, CA Lisa Gillett, President of La Scentsationals Pillows announced today that her design firm has contracted with Dallas, TX based Kaston Group to create and produce store point of purchase display and fixtures for the fall 2010 retail launch of her firm’s products.

“My consulting partners, Duquesa Marketing and I reviewed a number of display houses work product”, said Ms. Gillett. “I was most impressed with Kaston Group and their vast experience in creating fixtures for fine department stores and high fashion product lines. They will be an excellent fit for La Scentsationals”.

“We have used Kaston Group many times before for fine quality luxury goods display programs”, said Nancy Ficke, General Manager of Duquesa Marketing. “They are an excellent vendor for a stunning, artisan crafted line like La Scentsationals that will be sold in limited distribution to only the finest retail stores”.

“Owing to the hand crafting and exotic materials and organics that make La Scentsationals so unique, we are excited to be able to craft a display that fits the character of these beautiful pillows”, said John Steger, President of Kaston Group. “Initial design renderings are themed on mating natural materials and visuals that reflect old world style and pride of work, the type we rarely see today”.

La Scentsationals is a design and concept atelier that specializes in creating and enhancing products with exotic raw materials and organically grown herbs. The Company plans to launch the La Scentsationals line of wellness/aromatherapy pillows in fall 2010.

dP Design to Create Branding Graphics for La Scentsationals™ Line of Luxury Aromatherapy Pillows

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Press Release
For Immediate Release
May 18, 2010
Contact: Geoff Ficke
859-567-1609
gficke@msn.com

Unique Artisan Crafted Multi-Sensual Wellness Products to Be Launched in Fine Retail Stores in fall 2010

Cincinnati, OH Diana Puppin, President of award winning graphics art firm dP Design announced today that her Company has been contracted to create design elements for the packaging, sales collateral and web-site of Moraga, CA based La Scentsationals Wellness/Aromatherapy Pillows.

“Geoff and Nancy Ficke of Duquesa Marketing contacted me and they were very excited about a new client, La Scentsationals,” said Ms. Puppin. “They detailed the unique features and benefits, and the obvious craftsmanship that is built into each pillow and I was sold. I am very excited to be able to provide the graphic art elements for the product launch”.

“Diana Puppin’s firm is one of the vendors that we often use for fashion and luxury projects,” said Geoff Ficke, President of Florence, KY Duquesa Marketing. “Diana has the ability to take our guidance and design keys and turn them into novel, creative graphic designs for unit cartons, containers and sales collateral”.

“I was presented with a number of graphic arts design options by my managing project consultants, Duquesa Marketing”, said Lisa Gillett, Presidennt and creator of La Scentsationals. “It was an easy choice for me to contract with dP Design for creating the all important graphic arts visuals for the project”.

dP Design provides a wide range of clients, from start-ups to large businesses with a wide range of creative and graphic arts services. The firm has extensive experience in collaborating with marketers to create innovative solutions that deliver strong results for clients and consumers.

CBI Laboratories Contracted to Fill L’Espoir™ Skin Treatment Products for Beauty Wonders, Inc.

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Press Release
For Immediate Release
May 16, 2010
Contact: Geoff Ficke
859-567-1609
gficke@msn.com

L’Espoir Product Utilizes Proprietary Herbal Blending Process To Stabilize and Enhance Performance of Rare, Exotic Ingredients

London, England Mr. M.M. Serhan, CEO of Beauty Wonders, Inc. announced today that his Company has contracted the laboratory and filling services of Dallas, TX based cosmetic industry leader CBI Laboratories to assemble the L’Espoir line of highly targeted skin care products.

“We currently are very successful in a number of international markets with a varietal of L’Espoir,” said Mr. Serhan. “However, because of the standards and requirements of the North American market, we felt it was imperative to contract the best lab we could find to produce the product locally. Our managing consultants, Duquesa Marketing, introduced us to CBI and we were more than pleased with their ability to meet our quality control standards. This is not a simple formula to perfect and CBI grasped our needs immediately”.

“We specialize in advanced, complex formulae development and filling logistics”, said Bill Basinski, E.V.P. Senior Chemist and partner in CBI Laboratories. “We work with many international firms and Beauty Wonders presented us with a product that is challenging and exciting. L’Espoir is a bit like a symphony, everything works together so beautifully, but when you simply read the notes they are mysterious”.

L’Espoir will be introduced to North American retailers later in 2010. Duquesa Marketing is coordinating and managing all launch elements including pricing, display, packaging, publicity and branding for Beauty Wonders.

dP Design Contracted to Handle Graphic Arts Creative For Launch of Beauty Wonders L’Espoir™ Skin Treatment

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Press Release
For Immediate Release
May 15, 2010
Contact: Geoff Ficke
859-567-1609
gficke@msn.com

Exotic Herbal Blended Products Scheduled for North American Retail Launch in Late 2010

Cincinnati, OH Diana Puppin, owner of dP Design, an award winning Cincinnati, OH based graphics arts design firm announced today that her Company has been retained to create the graphic arts elements essential to the North American introduction of Beauty Wonders, Inc. L’Espoir skin treatment products.

“ Geoff Ficke, of Duquesa Marketing, approached me about a new client of his, Beauty Wonders”, said Ms. Puppin. “He was very excited about this unique product and wanted to create fresh, exciting graphics for the North American launch of their L’Espoir. After experiencing the product, I became as excited as Geoff and Nancy Ficke about L’Espoir and am excited to be providing the creative elements for the redesign of the brand”.

“We were introduced to dP Design by our managing consulting firm, Duquesa Marketing”, said Mr. M.M. Serhan, CEO of London, England based Beauty Wonders, Inc. “We reviewed several portfolios from various creative agencies and chose dP Design based on the quality, creativity and their grasp of what we are trying to achieve in branding L’Espoir”.

Zack Ellebnawi, Beauty Wonders US President, will spearhead the North American launch and work closely with Ms. Puppin to achieve the right balance of mystique and creativity for the redesign of the L’Espoir brand.

dP Design is a graphic arts atelier specializing in crafting and coordinating all visual elements crucial to consumer product success in retail sales venues. The Company works with startups, inventors, entrepreneurs and small and large businesses to address their creative needs.

Beauty Wonders Appoints Duquesa Marketing To Act as Managing Consultants for USA Launch

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Press Release
For Immediate Release
May 14, 2010
Contact: Geoff Ficke
859-567-1609
gficke@msn.com

Internationally Sold Skin Care Products to Be Introduced in American Market With new Packaging and Branding

London, England Mr. M.M. Serhan, CEO of London, England based Beauty Wonders, Inc. announced today that his skin care Company has contracted the services of Duquesa Marketing to act as managing marketing and product development consultants for the American launch of their L’Espoir™ brand.

“We recognized that, even though Beauty Wonders products are sold in many international markets very successfully, we needed specific marketing expertise to replicate our success in the American channel, said Mr. Serhan. “We searched extensively for such a firm and are very excited to announce our collaboration with Duquesa Marketing.

Beauty Wonders has created a rarity, a truly distinctive new product that addresses a need that frustrates many consumers”, said Geoff Ficke, President of Florence, KY based Duquesa Marketing. “We are excited to manage the North American launch of L’Espoir with Beauty Wonders President, Zack Ellebnawi, and are eager to make this much needed formula available to retailers and their consumers later this year”.

Beauty Wonders is a brand development firm specializing in herbal, naturally formulated topical skin treatment products. The Company’s products address specific skin and personal care maladies. Beauty Wonders products are sold in numerous countries and enjoy a very loyal consumer following. L’Espoir pricing, USA distribution and launch dates will be announced later this summer.

La Scentsationals™ Organic Wellness Pillows Contracts Duquesa Marketing to Manage 2010 Retail Launch

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Press Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Geoff Ficke
859-567-1609
gficke@msn.com

Artisan Crafted Exclusive Eye and Bed Pillows to Be Introduced to Fine Stores in Limited Distribution Strategy

Moraga, CA Lisa Gillett, President and creator of La Scentsationals Pillows announced today that her design atelier has engaged the services of Florence, KY based, award winning international consumer product marketing and product development consulting firm Duquesa Marketing to manage all elements of the fall 2010 retail launch of her Company’s products.

“I am a designer and I want to be able to concentrate on creating beautiful products that provide discerning consumers with great wellness benefits”, said Ms. Gillett. “In order to do that I needed to affiliate with a firm that could provide me with a full basket of sales, marketing and management services and Duquesa Marketing does that in spades. I interviewed and searched through many options until I met Geoff and Nancy Ficke, then I knew I had found the best fit with them”.

“Lisa Gillett is a passionate perfectionist and her La Scentsationals pillows are like nothing on the market”, said Geoff Ficke, President of Duquesa Marketing.”The pillows are much more than a delivery platform for aromatherapy benefits. Lisa has created a synergistic system that fully engages the senses of touch, smell, sight and the mind with her products in a novel presentation.

La Scentsationals Pillows will be introduced to retailers at a soon to be announced trade show. The hand crafted products will be limited to distribution in exclusive stores with a discriminating customer base that understands and appreciates artisan quality and rare organically grown herbs.

The Demise of Horn & Hardart Proved the Old Axiom: You’re Never the Greatest, Only the Latest

Friday, May 14th, 2010

by: Geoff Ficke

One of the pioneering brands in the fast food business was the venerable Horn & Hardart chain of automat restaurants. Started in Philadelphia in the 1890’s by partners Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart, the stores became hugely successful. The restaurants were famous for their unique food delivery system and iconic interiors.

The chain quickly expanded from Philadelphia to Manhattan and their location on Time Square became a tourist attraction. Horn & Hardart was famous for displaying their entrees, sandwiches and desserts behind little glass windows. The customer placed the correct change in the money slot and the door was then unlocked and the food removed. As soon as a serving was taken another was placed in the compartment by hand.

The automat was the precursor of the modern fast food restaurant. The Company expanded aggressively in the Atlantic region and at one time, during the Depression, operated over 150 stores. They popularized the phrase “Less Work for Mother” and take-out food.

And yet, Horn & Hardart went into a steady decline after World War ll and closed its last remaining outlet in 1991. What happened? How can an industry leader and trend setter become so inconsequential and obsolete that it goes extinct?

Joseph Horn died in 1941. Three generations of the Hardart family continued to run the business until the 1980’s. As so often happens when visionary entrepreneurs pass from the scene there is often a loss of focus and drive to stay ahead of competitors. In the 1960’s fast food restaurants became ubiquitous and as the population became more mobile, Horn & Hardart did not react to changing consumer buying and eating habits.

In marketing consumer products and services there is an old adage that always holds true: “You are never the greatest, only the latest”. As the great baseball pitcher Satchell Paige often said, “Don’t look over your shoulder, someone might be gaining on you”. Marketers, entrepreneurs and product innovators must protect their position in the market by constantly improving existing product and by introducing new products that bring consumers back into stores for their wares. In every business category from retail, to auto manufacturing, to cosmetics to airlines, and more, there are endless examples of once mighty industry leaders that have been replaced by more nimble, forward looking visionary companies. These new business leaders too will fall if they do not respect and react to this oldest of marketing truisms.