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Archive for June, 2012

Duquesa Marketing Newsletter – June 2012

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Converting an Idea to Income Is a Process That Requires Planting and Fertilization, Not Hope and Dreaming

Under the category of inexperienced blind hope, a surprising number of people that approach my Consumer Product Development group with a new business idea want us to find someone who will buy the concept in its undeveloped form. This always amazes, even after so many years of hearing these vapid elevator pitches. A person has an idea, they have performed little or no due diligence, and they believe it has commercial value. Daffy!

Behind every existing product, service or successful business there was originally an idea. In order to achieve any level of viability and ultimately market success, the idea was planted and fertilized with work, research, investment (money and sweat), strategizing, and so many other necessary layers of work product that confirm the concepts usefulness or lack thereof.

A person that attempts to peddle an idea without conducting necessary due diligence is immediately obviated as a wastrel. Ideas are a dime a dozen, actually they are worth 10 cents less than a dime. The reasons so few people become successful entrepreneurs, even though most people dream of entrepreneurial conquests, is that they are dreamers not doers.

I recently took a call from a supposed entrepreneur who was looking for someone to buy his toy idea. In response to my qualifying probes he was entirely negative. He did not have patent filings. He did not have 3D CAD art. He did not have, or worse, want to build rough prototypes, so, of course, he was never going to have production quality prototypes. Without 3D CAD art and prototypes he was never going to discover manufacturing protocols and Cost of Goods.

(Please click here to read the entire article)

Wall Street Journal Opinion Page May 25, 2012 No, You Can’t Spend Yourself Rich in the Real World

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Wall Street Journal Opinion Page May 25, 2012

No, You Can’t Spend Yourself Rich in the Real World

by: Geoff Ficke

François Hollande and his and Mr. Swoboda’s suggested policies aren’t drivers of growth but of accelerating decline. Note the increasing numbers of the French producing class fleeing the country for England.

The economic template that would serve the EU well is on display in the center of the continent. Switzerland and Germany revere hard work, thrift, excellence in their products and not spending what they do not have. Even a former welfare queen like Sweden has reformed and unbridled its economy from the self-imposed shackles of socialist policies, and growth is accelerating there. The Swedes and Swiss were smart enough to stay out of the EU.

Mr. Swoboda is salivating for more of exactly what hasn’t worked and will never work. For almost 100 years varying styles of utopian socialist policies have been thrust on populations around the world. From Romania to Cuba to Zimbabwe they have only led to everyone, except the ruling class, being poor together.

Differentiate Your Small Business from Competitors by Making Yourself the Go-To Authority in Your Field

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

by: Geoff Ficke

Differentiate Your Small Business from Competitors by Making Yourself the Go-To Authority in Your Field

A question I am often asked by entrepreneurs starting a new business operation is, “How do I stand out from my competition”. There are a number of options that can be
chosen to accomplish this goal. Resources and actual experience go far in determining which route to take.

If financial resources are not an issue, and it almost universally is, smothering your target market with advertising is the most commonly chosen method to make you and your enterprise stand out from the pack. But there are better paths for those working with minimal assets. Here are a few to consider.

Write a Blog

Let’s assume that you are an insurance agency owner. I live in a very tiny community and even here we have at least six insurance agents in the county. Insurance agents are ubiquitous. By writing a Blog, and constantly updating the content, an agent can become identified as a purveyor of tips and information that makes the purchase of insurance less painful. Whatever the field of endeavor try to impart knowledge that is of value to consumers. Do not overtly attempt to sell a product or service.

Perfect the Advertorial

An Advertorial is an advertisement that looks and reads like an editorial. A question is posed that pertains to your particular business entity. You answer the question with clarity and an air of studied knowledge. This subtly reinforces your bona fides as an expert in your field.

We have used Advertorials successfully for years to build our clients reputations as experts. People love to receive information and tips. They do not like to be sold. The Advertorial, if properly written and executed, will not only build a professional reputation they will be a driver of sales and traffic to your business.

We have used the Advertorial strategy to promote Wellness and Weight Loss Clinic owners, Beauty Salon and Day Spa businesses, Gourmet Food and Beverage marketers, Cosmetic, Skin Care, Fashion, Perfumers, Pet Products, Hunting and Fishing, Sporting Goods, DIY, and Jewelry start-ups, local merchants and service providers. This technique can be made to work to fit almost any Sales Promotion budget.

Public Relations

If you hire a new employee announce the appointment in a Publicity Release. If you launch a new product, open a branch office, add an account, attend a Trade Show, take a continuing education course, or experience any positive activity relating to your business write and circulate a Publicity Release.

The local media in your trading area loves these types of notices and publication is FREE! There are numerous FREE on-line services which publish PR Releases. Trade journals are awash in industry specific announcements that are generated by PR Releases and are published for FREE! Build a data base of clients, past customers and send them PR Releases announcing positive news. Visit my web-site www.DuquesaMarketing.com and click on the Public Relations tab. The format we utilize for the Releases that you can view is the standard PR industry template which you should use for your PR’s.

Public Speaking

Offer to speak to local service clubs such as the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Lions, Forrester’s, etc. The announcement that you will be speaking on a topic that is in your professional wheelhouse reinforces that you are the “pro from Dover” in this space. Church, civic and philanthropic groups are always seeking knowledgeable speakers to enrich their meetings.

Network

In order to speak to groups as described above, join them. The best advertisement and strategy to make you and your business known is to participate in local and industry specific groups and boards.

Have a Fresh Web-site

I am a believer that way too many people have web-sites. If content is not exciting a site can actually signify that your business is poorly run. People with new business concepts, but no ability to conduct commerce, put up sites that only serve to tip off competitors about their intentions before they are market ready.

A bright, contemporary, well managed web-site does not have to cost a fortune or be cumbersome for even the smallest Micro-Business to handle. There are numerous service firms that can build sites inexpensively and will constantly add blog and PR updates. Search engines will crawl web-site pages every few weeks and if a site is key search term enriched it will move higher in page rankings.

Write Articles

Let’s assume you operate a Prototype Design facility. There is a good bit of mystery to creating working, production quality Prototypes. These units are essential in  discovering manufacturing logistics, engineering quirks, cost of goods, and much more. If an Industrial or Design Engineer wishes to distinguish themselves there is no better way than to regularly publish 400 or more word articles on topics germane to modeling Prototypes.

Article Submission firms abound on the web-site. Many publish for FREE. Some charge a small publishing fee. A few can be utilized for targeting specific demographic groups or industries. When you publish an article you will be perceived as a person with a level of expertise in your field of work.

These are only a few of the many strategies that can be employed to separate you and your business from a swarm of competitors. As you execute these types of self-promotional elements you will discover that they become easier as you perfect your skill sets. There is an old adage among writers: “Writers write”. There is a similar maxim for entrepreneurs: “Successful businesses self-promote”.

3 Sisters Restorasis™ Announces Double Trade Show Launch for North American Market June 19-21, 2012

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.duquesamarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609

gficke@msn.com

3 Sisters Restorasis™ Announces Double Trade Show Launch for North American Market June 19-21, 2012

Medical Aesthetic Hydro BioMimetic Skin Therapy Line to Co-Introduce at HBA Splash and Spa & Resort Expo at Javits Center, New York City

Frederick, MD Meg Comer, General Manager of the famous Sylvana Wellness Institute announced today the North American consumer market introduction of 3 Sisters Restorasis Hydro BioMimetic Skin Therapy products at the HBA Splash trade show and concurrent Spa & Resort Expo, June 19-21 at the Javits Center in New York City.

“We decided that the line was too important to only take a bite at half a loaf”, said Ms. Comer. “Each show is offers unique exclusivity in their targeted retail audiences and these are exactly the upscale retailers, serving discerning clienteles that love the Medical Aesthetic provenance we have created with the Brand”.

“Dr. Jeanne O’Connell and her sisters Meg Comer and Kateri Delaney have created an elegantly simple, but ingenious formulary”, said Geoff Ficke, President of Duquesa Marketing, Florence, KY based Managing Consultants for the project. “Their 100% Organic, Self-Sterilizing Lipid Complex provides dermal performance unrivaled, and in reality thought impossible in the past”.

“3 Sisters Restorasis will be located in the special Splash Pavilion at HBA, Stand #1556 CB, Level 3”, said Kateri Delaney RN. “The line will be shown at Stand #474 at the Spa & Resort Expo. Our team will be performing our proprietary “Restor-Imaging” demonstration at each location for the entirety of the shows”.

 

Stickman Stew™ Announces Engagement of Duquesa Marketing to Act as Managing Consultants for Launch

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.duquesamarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609
gficke@msn.com

Stickman Stew™ Announces Engagement of Duquesa Marketing to Act as Managing Consultants for Launch

Firm to Mange Product Development and Marketing for Line of Whimsical Thematic Dolls to Be Launched in Spring-2013

Rockport, TX   Jane Guinn, President and Creator of the Stickman Stew™ line of thematic characters announced today that her Company has engaged the services of Florence, KY based Duquesa Marketing to act as Managing Consultants for the Product Development and Market Introduction of the Brand.

“I conducted a most thorough national search to find just the right team of creative, visionary professionals to make my Stickman Stew characters a successful market reality”, said Mrs. Guinn. “I was thrilled when I met the Duquesa Marketing team in Cincinnati and we melded immediately. I am so excited about the experience they bring to my project”.

“Jane’s line of Stickman, and Stickgal characters are highly whimsical, colorful, fun and thematic,” said Nancy Ficke, General Manager of Duquesa Marketing. “The  characters are more than a simple toy though. They appeal equally to adults, teens and children and are the ideal uplifting companion for work play, study, cars or recreation spaces”.

“We are planning a Spring-2013 market launch in both the toy and gift space categories,” said Mrs. Guinn. “An aggressive Branding, sales promotion and point of purchase display program will be created for Stickman Stew by Duquesa Marketing. Retail launch information will be announced in late 2012”.

Lori Leigh Designs™ Earring Chalets Unveiled to Huge Retail Acceptance at JCK Las Vegas June 1-4

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.DuquesaMarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609

gficke@msn.com

Lori Leigh Designs™ Earring Chalets Unveiled to Huge Retail Acceptance at JCK Las Vegas June 1-4

Fashionable Earring Organizers One of the Biggest Breakthrough Products at the Largest Jewelry Trade Show in the United States

Whittier, CA Lori Torline, President and creative force behind Lori Leigh Designs Earring Chalets, noted at the conclusion of the JCK Jewelry Industry Trade Expo at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas that her product had sold out completely during this premiere event.

“Of course, our team was excited about the unique fashion features and design benefits we had built into the product”, said Mrs. Torline. “But until you experience retailers reactions there is always some anticipation of their actual interest level. The first jeweler that visited our stand placed an order and that got us off to a great start and the action just kept building for the rest of JCK”.

“Lori Leigh Designs Earring Chalets stood completely alone as an “alpha” product at JCK”, said Nancy Ficke, General Manager of Florence, KY based Duquesa Marketing, managing consultants for the project’s development and market launch. “The Vanity and Traveler units were equally well received and the five fashion color choices were obvious strong selling points for retailers at the show”.

“We have immediately placed another large factory order and have committed to two upcoming trade shows”, noted Mrs. Torline. “Because of the great response we are moving quickly ahead with another generation of organizers that we plan to introduce in early 2013”.

3 Sisters Restorasis™ Hydro BioMimetic Skin Repair Regimen Announces Launch at Spa & Resort Expo

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.duquesamarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609
gficke@msn.com

3 Sisters Restorasis™ Hydro BioMimetic Skin Repair Regimen Announces Launch at Spa & Resort Expo

Exclusive Day Spa Distribution Opportunity Available for 1st Time At the Javits Center, Stand 474, New York City, June 19-21

Frederick, MD Jeanne O’Connell MD, CEO and co-founder of the famous Sylvana Wellness Institute announced today that she will introduce 3 Sisters Restorasis Hydro BioMimetic Skin Repair Complex, developed for the treatment of patients suffering serious dermal maladies, at the upcoming Spa & Resort Expo.

“My sisters Meg Comer, Kateri Delaney and I have spent years developing a Self-Sterilizing Lipid Complex based on 100% natural mimetics and advanced science”, said Dr. O’Connell. “We utilize these products daily in our practice to treat patients with amazing results. It is the perfect time to introduce these breakthrough formulations to exclusive Day Spas and their discerning clientele”.

“3 Sisters Restorasis, with its pure Medical Aesthetic provenance, is unlike any Skin Care regimen on the market today”, said Nancy Ficke, General Manager of Florence, KY based Duquesa Marketing, managing consultants for the projects development and launch. “The lines Genesis was for the treatment of patients with dermal problems so the formulary has to perform and it does beautifully”.

“We are already setting appointments for the exclusive “RestorImaging” demonstration we have developed for the regimen, said Kateri Delaney, RN and V.P. of New Product Development for the Sylvana Institute. “3 Sisters Restorasis will unveil show specials, Day Spa and Resort special pricing and a sales promotional schedule at the June
19-21 Spa and Resort Expo”.

Licensing Is the Longest Shot Strategy for Consumer Product Deals That Are Not Fully Vetted

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

by: Geoff Ficke

Licensing Is the Longest Shot Strategy for Consumer Product Deals That Are Not Fully Vetted

My firm receives more project submissions seeking a hoped for licensing deal than any other strategy consideration. The prospective entrepreneur invariably is hoping that his idea, concept or self-built prototype will entice established licensee targets to invest in the product and successfully fill retail channels with a perfected product. This path invariably fails.

Recently we reviewed a very interesting Sun Tanning related product. The product was actually well conceived, much better than most we review. The developer even had a perfected prototype. Her preferred goal was a licensing deal. However, the Cost of Goods and thus her Sales Model made the product unmarketable. Every unit that could be sold would lose money. The market research revealed a price limit that the consumer would pay for this type of item and the unit that this ambitious young lady was offering was well beyond that price point ceiling.

Where had she gone wrong? The product was a bit over-engineered. She had not completed a thorough round of due diligence on manufacturing and logistics costs. The lady had little experience in the backroom areas of the Consumer Product Development process. She simply found a local source of supply and went with them.

At least in the case of the Sun Tanning product she had tried to perfect a product and a Sales Model. Most people seeking to License products do not even do that much. They dream that a bag of money and expertise will fall into their laps and enrich them while they sit and observe the process from a beach or poolside while consuming an adult beverage with little umbrellas floating in the glass.

Many of the projects we review would, or could actually be commercially viable if the owner would commit the time, effort and resources that are vital for the attainment of success. Our experience is that the vast majority of those seeking a License for their project do so because they do not possess the fortitude to push the ball over the goal line.

Companies that seek to License products and inventions have a vast field of opportunities from which to choose. Like any entity dealing from a position of great strength, they can afford to be choosy and exceptionally thorough in conducting their search for viable Licensing partners. They will only deal with the most polished offerings.

I am often asked, what is the best advice I can give to an aspiring entrepreneur seeking to partner, joint venture or license their product? The short answer is to be able to show a basic level of Sales Traction. Purchase orders, even if you cannot yet fill them, speak volumes to investors. There are many ways and strategies to accomplish this hurdle. We prefer to use a Pre-Sell strategy that mitigates costly inventory build out risk while confirming a Proof of Concept from target clientele. This has worked time and again. However, this path does require toil, research, some level of resource commitment and courage.

Those seeking to take shortcuts waste their time and the time of marketplace participants. Companies simply will not review projects that are not professionally constructed and presented. No experienced firm will act as arbitrageur for products that are not perfected. For this reason, only about 1% of projects we review have any possibility of achieving Licensing success as submitted.

 

Duquesa Marketing Announces Appointment of Invurgency to Manage Manufacturing of Stickman Stew

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.duquesamarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609
gficke@msn.com

Duquesa Marketing Announces Appointment of Invurgency to Manage Manufacturing of Stickman Stew

Line of Thematic Whimsical Dolls Being Readied for Spring-2013 Toy and Gift Retail Market Introduction

Florence, KY   Geoff Ficke, President of Duquesa Marketing, the international Consumer Product Development and Branding Consulting firm, announced today that acting as Managing Consultants they have engaged Cincinnati based Invurgency llc to handle component sourcing and manufacturing of Stickman Stew Dolls.

“Stickman Stew is one of the most fun projects we have ever undertaken”, said Geoff Ficke. “The dolls are whimsical, humorous, colorful and present interesting Marketing and manufacturing challenges. Invurgency is a firm that we have used in the past for our most challenging projects and they are perfect for the Stickman challenge”.

“Invurgency has great experience in a wide range of consumer product design and manufacturing categories, including Toys and Gifts,” noted Alexis Bruning, V.P. of New
Product Development
for Duquesa Marketing. “Stickman Stew is unique in its versatility, equally powerful as a Toy or Gift category Brand”.

“We are developing a total menu of Branding, Sales Promotion, Publicity and Display elements to be ready for a Spring-2013 launch of Stickman and Stick Girl products”, said Nancy Ficke, General Manager of Duquesa Marketing. “We intend to aggressively introduce the Dolls to both the Toy and Gift areas”.

Duquesa Marketing Appointed Managing Consultants for Stickman Stew™ Project Development & Launch

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.duquesamarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609
gficke@msn.com

Duquesa Marketing Appointed Managing Consultants for Stickman Stew™ Project Development & Launch

Thematic Family of Dolls Will Employ Whimsy and Good Humor to Encourage Honesty, Caring and Sense of Community

Florence, KY   Nancy Ficke, General Manager of award winning international Consumer Product Development and Branding Consultancy group Duquesa Marketing announced today that her team has been engaged to create, develop and launch at retail the Stickman Stew line of whimsical, thematic dolls.

“”Our client, Jane Guinn, presented to us a wonderful concept which she has nurtured to the point of being ready for commercialization,” said Mrs. Ficke. “The family of dolls is meant to convey a big-heartedness that is too often lacking in today’s hurly burly world. Jane’s Stickman dolls make people happy when they touch one and they grab you and make you think”.

“Stickman dolls are happy to ride on your cars dashboard, practice yoga, sit on a child’s backpack or perk up a workspace”, said Alexis Bruning, V.P. of New Product
Development
for Duquesa Marketing.”They can go anywhere and add a touch of humor and fun to each environment that they touch”.

“The lineup of dolls, their stories and names will be announced shortly”, said Geoff Ficke, President of Duquesa Marketing. “Owing to Stickman Dolls versatility in appealing to children and adults, the line will be marketed as both a toy and as a gift space item. When seen together, they are so cute that we don’t anticipate too many people wanting just one Doll, but purchasing the whole family”.