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Archive for the ‘Innovation’ Category

A Surprising Number of Consumer Products Leap Categories and Discover Multi-Chanel Success

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

by: Geoff Ficke

Many, many moons ago, when I was a small child growing up in Kentucky, my mother created her own customized skin care products from items she harvested from our food pantry and refrigerator. These were a type of artisan treatment regimen that had been handed down from her mother and other female relatives. I can clearly remember the distinct and wonderful scent that emanated from the kitchen as my mother milled and blended her olive oil, mayonnaise, lemon and herbal potions.

These products worked. When mom died in her mid-70’s, after a lifetime of outdoor work on a farm and endless hours of self-tanning her skin was flawless. My siblings and I do not believe she ever bought at cleanser, toner, moisturizer, night cream or any other type of cosmetic skin care product from a retail store. Mother was a child of the Depression, and as such, she was raised to be as self-sufficient as possible.

My mother also practiced a form of consumer product category jumping. Her homemade cosmetic skin care treatment was rendered from foodstuffs purchased mainly for consumption by our large brood. I doubt Hellman’s Mayonnaise, A&P Olive Oil or the United Fruit company produced their products with cosmetic usage in mind.

There are actually more examples of this type of product category jumping than one might think. You probably have experienced such multiple uses for products in your own experience. A number of specific products actually have seen sales rise perceptibly as a result of usage that differs from the manufacturer’s original intent.

One of the most famous was the well known hemorrhoid ointment Preparation H. This formula was created by the prolific scientist Dr. Sperti. It was very successful for many years and was considered the leading treatment of its day for this annoying malady. Then a funny thing happened.

Women realized that if it worked on hemorrhoids it might work on facial wrinkles. Voila, they were right and a cult-like following grew to believe Preparation H as the best option on the market to fight wrinkles, fine lines and damaged skin. The product had the added benefit of being inexpensive relative to packaged cosmetic and department skin care treatment lines such as Frances Denney, Germaine Monteil and Orlane.

Another crossover star is equally fascinating. In farm stores in rural communities across America there is a need for a livestock product that can treat horses and cattle that suffer from damage caused by thorns, thickets and rusted barbed wire fencing. The leading product in this space is an ointment called Corona.

A number of years ago I first heard from the mother of newborn baby about Corona. She raved about the creams ability to eliminate her little one’s severe diaper rash. She had tried everything, even doctor prescribed treatments to no avail. Another mom told her to drive 60 miles to the nearest Southern States store and buy a tube of Corona. She did. She was wowed and returned within a week to buy out the stores stock.

I decided to check it out for myself. I visited a Southern States store and asked the clerk how Corona Ointment was selling? He stopped and replied that until a couple years ago it sold only to farmers. But then they began to notice mothers of babies with license plates from distant counties buying multiple tubes of the product. The store was often out of stock on what had been a steady, but unspectacular selling niche product.

We use EZ-Off Oven Cleaner to remove mold from our log home. It works great. It works much better than the much more expensive mold treatment products that the DIY stores stock and advertise.

There are many other examples of products or ingredients that jump categories and enjoy cult status. You probably utilize one or more in your home, work or garden.

British Royal Pageantry Would Be Much Less Colorful Without This 300 Year Old Firms Artisan Products

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

by: Geoff Ficke

Many Americans are dazzled by the solemnity, richness and dash of Great Britain’s royalty and landed gentry class and their balls, parades, hunts, weddings and state funerals. From Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in the 1950’s to Princess Diana’s wedding and untimely funeral to the spectacular PBS television series Downton Abbey, we are shown glimpses of a world of etiquette, discipline, heritage and beauty far from our own. One firm, holders of Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Warrant, has been ringside for much of this pageantry for the better part of three centuries.

The Toye family was Huguenot refugees. They had fled religious persecution in France and arrived in 1685, settling near what is now Bethnal Green. In France they had been artisans working and crafting lace, silk, embroidery and gold and silver wiring for garments and military embellishments. They continued this work upon settling near London.

By 1784 Guillaume Henry Toye was well established in the trade and had established the firm’s first shop. His grandson William Toye, expanded the business in 1835. In addition to adding a ribbon works, William opened two retail stores near central London to capitalize on the growing demand for uniform and military parade products.

In 1890 facilities were acquired for the weaving of heavy, double-twilled silk products. The trade union movement, Friendly Societies and the Masonic trade was flourishing and Toye seized on the opportunity to accelerate the Company’s growth by serving these customer bases. A banner department was established. Painting and embroidery of the banners proved to increase the desirability of Toye’s products immensely.

The Company continued to grow under the direction of William Toye’s three sons in the first three decades of the 20th century. Then a seeming disaster, the Great Depression hit the United Kingdom in 1930. Despite massive unemployment, poverty and hunger Toye and Co. maintained full employment throughout the Depression.

In 1937 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth ascended to the throne. Their coronation proved most profitable for the Company as it required six months of overtime work for the artisan craftsman of Toye & Co. to produce the required banners, uniforms, epaulets, robes and regalia required for the regal occasion.

To this very day Toye & Co. produces a wide range of ceremonial and fashion products. The Company operates a number of factories in the United Kingdom, including a jewelry production facility in Birmingham and a textile production plant near Coventry. The firm operates a wonderful retail shop on Great Queen Street, Covent Garden, London. There, much of the firm’s highly crafted product is available for consumer purchase.

Toye & Co. is still managed by descendants of the founder, Guillaume Henry Toye. As Royal Warrant holders the firm has proven over more than 300 years of creative work that quality, detail, and dependability are touchstones that every enterprise should strive to attain and perfect in each product or service on offer.

Any 21st century entrepreneur would do well to study these honored businesses and learn the attributes that separate them from competitors.

When visiting Great Britain I always seek out firms displaying the crested sign that indicates the residence of a Royal Warrant Holder. This award is only given to firm’s possessing the absolute highest standards. Just browsing these purveyors of old world craftsmanship is enthralling and educational.

This Italian Fashion Giant also Lead One of the 20th Century’s Most Exciting and Daring Personal Lives

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

by: Geoff Ficke

Emilio Pucci, the Marquis of Barsento, was born in 1914 to an ancient family of Florentine nobles. He would live and work for most of his life in the Pucci Palace in Florence. A keen athlete and sportsman he was a member of the Italian Winter Olympic team at the 1932 Lake Placid, New York games.

As a young man he studied at the Universities of Milan and Georgia in the United States. He won a skiing scholarship to Reed College in Oregon and then furthered his education at the University of Florence, earning a doctorate in Political Science in 1937. It was during his student years that he became involved in Fascist politics.

During World War II Pucci enlisted in the Italian Air Force and became a bomber pilot. He rose through the ranks and was decorated numerous times for valor. He had become a close confidant of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s daughter Edda. As the war turned against the Fascists, Edda’s husband Count Galeazzo Ciano, the Italian Foreign Minister had attempted to intervene with the Allies to remove Mussolini from power in 1943. Ciano was imprisoned and tried by the Fascists.

Pucci attempted to smuggle Edda Mussolini across the border to sanctuary in neutral Switzerland. While he was successful in saving Edda, he was captured by the Nazi’s as he tried to use Count Ciano’s secret papers to barter for Ciano’s life with Nazi SD General Wilhelm Harster. The attempt failed and the Nazi’s tortured Pucci in an attempt to discover where Ciano’s secret document trove was hidden. Pucci did not break under the abuse.

The Nazi’s decided to try a different tact. They sent Emilio Pucci back into Switzerland to advise Edda Mussolini that she would be killed if she released Count Ciano’s papers to the press. Pucci sat out the last months of the war in Switzerland and returned to Italy after surrender.

In 1947, skiwear Pucci had designed for a lady friend that she was wearing on the slopes in Zermatt was photographed randomly by Harper’s Bazaar. The magazine was so impressed by the fit, color and design that the editor approached Pucci about shooting a full collection that he would have to create. This was the beginning of his iconoclastic fashion career and fame as a couture pioneer.

Pucci’s sleek designs caused a sensation. He was experimenting with early stretch materials which increased skiing performance times but also flattered athletic body types. He followed this with a line of swimwear that became the rage at chic resort wear shops. All of Pucci’s designs featured bold colors co-mingled in crisp geometric patterns. He quickly designed a line of silk scarves which complemented designer suits and dresses.

Stanley Marcus, President of Dallas, Texas based Neiman Marcus approached Pucci and suggested that he design a line of silk blouses and dresses. Throughout the 1950’s his fame grew, international fashion awards were garnered and sales exploded. Marilyn Monroe became a fan and was often photographed in his form flattering dresses (She was buried in a Pucci dress). Fashion icons from Sophia Loren to Gina Lollabrigida to Jackie Kennedy all wore Pucci. Contemporary pop-icons such as Madonna wear Pucci designs today.

In the 1960’s Braniff Airlines decided that they needed to elevate their image and separate their brand from the many bland corporate looks favored by the many  competitors of that time. In one of the first campaigns of total branding by an airline Braniff re-designed every element of their service from the outer skin of their plane fuselages, to their terminals, lounges and staff uniforms. Pucci created the first of his seven stewardess uniform designs that took the industry by storm for their unique color, variety and fashion flourishes. The Pucci-designed Bubble Helmet, designed to protect the stewardess hair in inclement weather, became a sensation. Famously, even the Barbie Doll collection licensed Pucci’s Braniff uniforms for the Stewardess Barbie.

Always an active participant in politics, Pucci served in the Italian Parliament as a delegate representing the Florence-Pistoia region. He was elected in 1964 and served until 1972.

The distinctive Pucci geometric colored-motif logo was licensed for use in many luxury goods categories. I was very fortunate to be the American distributor for Pucci Fragrances in the early-1980’s and on several occasions enjoyed the opportunity to meet the gentile, elegant Senor Pucci. He was always a supremely dignified presence as his annual collections were unveiled at Villa d’Este on Lake Como.

In 1992 Emilio Pucci passed away. His name, brand and unique geometric color palette lives on after being purchased by luxury goods giant LVMH. Today Pucci couture can be found in Pucci and Rossignol boutiques as well as at many fine international department stores and resort shops. His was a life of adventure,

Advertisings First “Whisper Campaign” Created the Modern Antiperspirant Deodorant Industry

Friday, January 18th, 2013

by: Geoff Ficke

Until the early 20th century body odor was addressed in basically one of two ways. The uneducated and impoverished simply did not address their hygiene. The upper-classes bathed on average once each week and most undertook a “toilet” once or twice each day. This consisted of standing at a wash basin filled with hot water and administering a simple sponge bath with a soaped sponge and then a full body rinsing wipe down.

The first modern deodorant product was Mum, introduced in the 1880’s. This product was packaged in jars and applied to the armpit and elsewhere on the body by rubbing onto the skin with one’s fingers. Many people considered the application of the cream in such a manner to be unpleasant and the product possessed and unusual unpleasant odor.

The far larger quandary facing the marketers of products designed to mask and correct unpleasant body odors was that almost all women of the day were simply unaware that they projected offensive odors. They just did not consider their hygiene to be offensive to others, and importantly, their paramours. Body odors were considered natural, even if rancid smelling.

Early in the 20th century a young woman in Cincinnati, a surgeon’s daughter named Edna Murphey tried to sell an antiperspirant product that her father had developed to keep his hands dry while performing surgery. She labeled the deodorant Odorono. Though determined, Ms. Murphey was not very competent or successful at marketing.

The team of door to door sales women Ms. Murphey assembled did not move Odorono at sales levels she had planned. Pharmacists refused to carry the item as they were not receiving calls for such a product to address sweat or perspiration. In desperation, she took a booth at the 1912 Atlantic City Exposition to demonstrate the features and benefits of Odorono. Initially sales were tepid. Fortunately for Ms. Murphey, the expo lasted all summer and 1912 was a particularly hot year. By the end of the fair she had sold over $30,000 worth of Odorono and seemed to be on her way to success.

Sales did grow for several years then hit a wall. Odorono needed professional help and so Ms. Murphey hired the J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency to handle her account. JWT opened an office in Cincinnati and assigned a young copywriter named James Young to manage the office and the Odorono account.

Mr. Young immediately confronted the problem that Ms. Murphey had not able to overcome: the commonly held belief of the time that blocking perspiration was unhealthy. Mr. Young’s first ad copy highlighted the scientific provenance of Odorono and positioned the problem of “excessive perspiration” as a medical malady in need of correction.

Sales again accelerated but in a few years began to stutter again. James Young knew that he had to do something radical to save the Odorono account and his fledgling advertising career. He decided to present the problem of body odor and perspiration as a social faux pas. His first ad, which appeared in Ladies Home Journal in a 1919-edition was titled “Within the Curve of a Woman’s Arm”. It was a masterstroke.

The image in the ad was of a woman in a romantic situation with a man. The copy directly and pointedly stated that if the lady wanted to keep her man she had better not smell or stink. In fact, a smelly gal might not even realize she is offensive and this could lead to males avoiding her. The ad caused shock waves and Ladies Home Journal even lost subscribers because of the content.

However, the controversy brought attention to Odorono and the newly addressed problem of feminine body odor. In 1920 sales of the product soared to $417,000.By 1927 Company sales had hit the $1 million mark and in 1929 Edna Murphey sold her business to Northam Warren the makers of Cutex Nail Polish Remover.

This is widely considered the first commercial use of a “whisper campaign” in advertising used to scare female consumers into buying a product to combat sweat and natural body perspiration. Competitors began to mimic the model created by James Young and the technique became a common strategy utilized in the advertising and consumer product marketing industry.

James Young went on to enjoy a career as one of the most famous and successful advertising copywriters of the 20th century. He rose to become Chairman of the J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency, helping it to grow into the largest in the world. His “whisper campaign” was instrumental in launching Odorono and thus laying the first brick in the creation of what is today an $18 billion industry: deodorant antiperspirant products. His creation of the “whisper campaign” is still studied in University marketing courses to this day.

College Campuses Are Amazing Resources for Entrepreneurs to Utilize When Launching a Business

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

by: Geoff Ficke

College Campuses Are Amazing Resources for Entrepreneurs to Utilize When Launching a Business

Recently I read about a new cosmetic product that was launched on a college campus. This bootstrapped product was taking advantage of a resource that can be available to all, but is rarely accessed by any. The entrepreneurs behind the novel lip balm Kisstixx offer an example of just one way to leverage the benefits that are present in abundance on university campuses everywhere.

Shake Smart natural smoothies are another example of a start-up bootstrapped on a university campus. Clever entrepreneurs for this breakthrough concoction looked closely at their personal environment and realized that many, if not all, of the assets they needed to perfect, test and launch their product was on offer within their schools facilities.

The modern university is an amazing amalgam of talent, facilities, knowledge, money and energy. Students are almost universally ambitious. Faculty is experienced and keen to see their student charges succeed in their chosen fields. College administrators are excited to leverage their facilities and resources in ways that drive institutional reputations and endowments. This is the perfect confluence of opportunity and assets for innovators seeking to commercialize their novel business concepts.

Let’s start with the student body. Each member is majoring in an offered course of study. Each is driven to gain as much education as possible in their field of study and compliment this knowledge with practical, complimentary work experience; Thus, the scramble for internships.

For our client consumer product development projects we often visit college deans and ask for student participation in accomplishing specific research and development tasks. Inevitably the dean is happy to recommend one or more students. The students are thrilled for the opportunity to add to their credentials with a hands-on work
experience that can be detailed for future employers to consider. Our clients always are amazed at the enthusiasm and quality of the work product provided by
their interns.

We all read about the technology advances that are born in some university and then become massive commercial successes. Universities across the country have taken notice of this opportunity and almost all have Technology Transfer programs established or in development. They actively seek ideas that can be patented and commercialized by utilizing the massive resources, and fixed overheads, that are a constant in every college. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to approach these programs with their concepts and ideas for review, consideration and possible joint venture collaboration.

We have utilized the resources of colleges and universities on a number of our Consumer Product projects. Schools are not only keen to develop science and technology opportunities. They are aggressively seeking products and services that can be perfected and launched in many areas. For one client we used the Nutrition and Dietary college program to develop a gluten and sugar free line of bakery goods. Focus Groups and test markets conducted at colleges are ideal venues for gauging market sentiment about key elements of Branding, Packaging, taste, pricing, etc.

Business Schools today almost universally emphasize an Entrepreneurial course of study. A capstone class requirement to qualify for a degree is that each student must write or collaborate on creating a customized Business Plan. Let these eager students work on your Business Plan.

Many inventors approach us seeking help in designing, prototyping and engineering their product idea. Many colleges possess every tool needed to create CAD art, scale models, assembly and engineering plans. The College of Engineering is a wonderful tool to access when needing prototype work completed on a small budget and with professionalism.

Wellness drinks and supplements, skin care, oral care, exercise and sporting goods products, fashion design and juvenile products are all product areas in which we have used the assets that are available, and FREE, at a local college or university. Students, faculty and administrations actually welcome the chance to apply their theoretical knowledge to gain practical project experience from working on real world product development. Take advantage of this wonderful resource. After all, as a taxpayer you are
paying for these excellent resources.

Geoff Ficke to Be Interviewed on KVLE 610 AM The Business For Breakfast Show on May 8 at 8:30 MT

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.duquesamarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609
gficke@msn.com

Geoff Ficke to Be Interviewed on KVLE 610 AM The Business For Breakfast Show on May 8 at 8:30 MT

Duquesa Marketing Founder and Expert to Discuss Personality Traits to Success as well as The Best Jobs for Your Future – Creating Your Own

Florence, KY  Nancy Ficke, General Manager, announced today that her Branding and Product Development firm Duquesa Marketing has scheduled another in a series of national radio interviews for Company President and Founder Geoff Ficke in the Vail, CO market.

“Geoff Ficke will appear on The Business For Breakfast Show with Hosts Marc Mandel, Harriet Fox and Roger Cridlebaugh May 8th at 8:30 am MT”, said Mrs Ficke. “The discussion will be about the best jobs for your future – creating your own. There are opportunitities to take hold of your life and career options by exploring Entrepreneurial opportunities that people find around themselves in their hobbies, homes or jobs”.  They will also be discussing certain personality traits within each person that will determine their success.

“We work with hundreds of inventors, small and micro-businesses and entrepreneurs every year”, said Alexis Bruning, V.P. of New Business Development at Duquesa Marketing. “Many of these people carve out successful enterprises by capitalizing on things they experience in their environment. This is a topic that Geoff is passionate about and is always happy to share with an audience”.

Duquesa Marketing has assisted numerous individuals and enterprises start and expand Consumer Product opportunities over the past four decades. The award winning firm has vast experience in all Sales and distribution channels in the United States and internationally.

 

Geoff Ficke to Be Interviewed on KRCN 1060 AM The Business For Breakfast Show on May 8 at 8:30 MT

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.duquesamarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609
gficke@msn.com

Geoff Ficke to Be Interviewed on KRCN 1060 AM The Business For Breakfast Show on May 8 at 8:30 MT

Duquesa Marketing Founder and Expert to Discuss Personality Traits to Success as well as The Best Jobs for Your Future – Creating Your Own

Florence, KY  Nancy Ficke, General Manager, announced today that her Branding and Product Development firm Duquesa Marketing has scheduled another in a series of national radio interviews for Company President and Founder Geoff Ficke in the Denver, Ft. Collins and Cheyenne, WY markets.

“Geoff Ficke will appear on The Business For Breakfast Show with Hosts Marc Mandel, Harriet Fox and Roger Cridlebaugh May 8th at 8:30 am MT”, said Mrs Ficke. “The discussion will be about the best jobs for your future – creating your own. There are opportunitities to take hold of your life and career options by exploring Entrepreneurial opportunities that people find around themselves in their hobbies, homes or jobs”.  There are also certain personality traits within each person that will determine their success.

“We work with hundreds of inventors, small and micro-businesses and entrepreneurs every year”, said Alexis Bruning, V.P. of New Business Development at Duquesa Marketing. “Many of these people carve out successful enterprises by capitalizing on things they experience in their environment. This is a topic that Geoff is passionate about and is always happy to share with an audience”.

Duquesa Marketing has assisted numerous individuals and enterprises start and expand Consumer Product opportunities over the past four decades. The award winning firm has vast experience in all Sales and distribution channels in the United States and internationally.

A “Wanna Be” Entrepreneur in Reality Is a “Wantrepreneur” and Will Never Be Successful

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

by: Geoff Ficke

A “Wanna Be” Entrepreneur in Reality Is a “Wantrepreneur” and Will Never Be Successful

Very few of the hundreds of Consumer Product projects that my Branding and Marketing Consulting firm review each year ever go much beyond the talking stage. Talk is cheap. Deamers dream. Successful entrepreneurs are relatively rare. The necessary makeup to compete in the marketplace of ideas and products is in fairly short supply.

The best descriptive I can use to describe the dreamer that will never launch is the portmanteau “wantrepreneur”. This is the word we use to define the eternal grazer. They hope, wish and want to be successful but will not take the absolutely necessary steps required to get into the game. This pseudo-entrepreneur wants a lot of things, variously including…

  • Wants a Business Plan
  • Wants Design Engineering
  • Wants Prototyping
  • Wants Branding Development
  • Wants Legal Counsel
  • Wants Patents and Trademarks
  • Wants Marketing Strategy Customized
  • Wants Market Research
  • Wants Focus Groups
  • Wants Licensing Opportunities
  • Wants Web-site Design
  • Wants Social Media Management
  • Wants Sales Representation
  • Wants a Public Relations Campaign
  • Wants Manufacturing Organized
  • Wants Fulfillment Systems Organized
  • Wants Investment, Funding
  • Want all of this and often much more!

The reality is that the aspiring entrepreneur has two options available to achieve the above work elements that are but a partial list of the items that must be present in order to achieve a Consumer Product or Consumer Service launch.

1.   Hire vendors that can successfully perform in their area of specialization.

2.   Do it yourself.

I started my first business in 1978. I did it myself. I was a self-taught entrepreneur who, once having figured things out, realized that I could repeat the process again and again. I did this for a series of ventures that I launched. It can be done. I and many others are proof that with enough drive, ambition and confidence in themselves and their ideas success is a real option. Option #2 is not a chimera but it is not easy.

Option #1 is the route that most prospective entrepreneurs are forced to take. The skills that must be mastered can seem daunting to a novice. The list is long, much longer than detailed above. Successful entrepreneurs always find the means to raise the monies needed to hire professional help in areas that they do not have mastery of.

“Wantrapreneur’s” always attempt to acquire talent and expertise with promises, futures, equity and histrionics. The approach they take always follows an obvious lineup of talking points. Their Toy or Board Game is the next Monopoly or Bratz Doll. Their Wellness Supplement will revolutionize the Joint Pain market. The Pet Product they have developed to comfort arthritic dogs will sell hundreds of thousands of units. The Juvenile Jewelry line they have conceptualized will be on every little girl’s wish list. The list goes on endlessly.

The “wantrapreneur” always wants vendors to partner. I always ask what a person does for work. When I am told, “Salesman, truck driver, insurance adjuster, bank analyst”, etc., I respond with another simple question: “Do you work for free”? Qualified engineers and graphic artists and consultants are paid for their work, their experience, their Rolodex. Proven professionals actually save entrepreneurs time, money and mistakes.

How an aspiring entrepreneur approached funding sources and professional vendors is crucial. We rarely see this introductory process handled properly by novice entrepreneurs.  Do your due diligence. Do not attempt to sell dreams. My dreams are almost certainly not your dreams.

The process of starting a business or launching a Consumer Product is arduous. There is a reason for this. If it was easy everyone would be doing it and they are most certainly not. The difficulties inherent in getting a product off the ground act to cull the marketplace and serves as a type of Merchandising Darwinism. Merchants, distributors, investors, venture capital, strategic alliances and partners all seek out projects that survive the development process and are representative of the old saw “survival of the fittest”. “Wantrepreneurs” do not need apply.

The 5 Essential Personal Traits Needed to Become a Successful Entrepreneur

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

by: Geoff Ficke

The 5 Absolutely Essential Personal Traits Needed to Become a Successful Entrepreneur

I am often asked by media interviewers, prospective entrepreneurs and college students I mentor to identify the most important qualities that are present in successful small business start-up owners and innovators. Obviously there are many personality traits that contribute to success in every sort of endeavor. Honesty, hard work, creativity and a positive mental attitude are only a few. However, I think that there are five traits that are essential keys to achieving entrepreneurial success. These are present in every successful entrepreneur I have ever worked with.

Passion

High achieving entrepreneurs have an unrestrained passion for their business or concept. This is not to be confused with cheerleading or hype. Their passion is born of a confidence that their project will help and provide real benefits to people, clients and customers. Of course, they hope to prosper financially from their work, but they really and truly are passionate that they can make a difference. The passion that Emeril Legasse exudes when he speaks about Food and Cooking, or that displayed by Tory Burch when she describes her Fashion Designs are obvious examples.

Drive

Successful entrepreneurs will not be stopped. They quickly come to understand that they will consistently hear the word “no”. To these driven people “no” simply means not today. They are driven to succeed and always find a way to overcome the “no” obstacles that the marketplace places in their path. Vidal Sassoon, born to poverty in East London, created one of the world’s great Beauty and Cosmetic empires through his sheer drive. Famous Amos overcame huge personal obstacles before he pioneered the creation and commercialize of the designer Cookie category.

Focus

By their very nature entrepreneurs are creative. This creativity, however, often results in lack of focus. Ideas seem to come in waves. The project at hand is undone by a bigger, grander idea, then another. Successful entrepreneurs are solely and totally focused on their Business Plan, executing their strategy and getting to market with a first mover advantage in hand.

Bernie Marcus, Ken Langone and Arthur Blank launched the Home Depot with a single store in Atlanta. They overcame numerous hurdles to perfect the DIY concept that is ubiquitous today by staying focused on the perfection of their business model in one location before they considered expansion. Levi Strauss built his eponymous denim work and Sportswear business from a base that was focused on the mine workers that were pouring into the California Gold Rush country in the mid-18th century.

Discipline

The ability to discipline ones emotional urges and stick with the plan when things seem bleakest is so important. The discipline to work though problems that seem too vexing is something that many people lack. Work ethic that demonstrates the ability to overcome problems is essential.

Thomas Edison famously conducted over 1000 experiments before perfecting the incandescent light bulb. Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds were aspiring young actors in the 1950’s in Hollywood. Both were fired by their studio on the same day and told they had no future in the movies. The same happened to a young singer named Elvis Presley at the Grand Ol’ Opry in 1954. None quit. They had the self-confidence and discipline to keep pushing until they achieved their goals.

Courage

To me, this is the Number 1, most essential, but also rare trait that successful entrepreneurs possess. I do not believe that courage can be taught. The courage to commit fully to a project is what separates commercially successful entrepreneurs from dreamers and failures. Fear of failure chokes courage. Fear of hearing “no” again and again smothers courage. Risk aversion today runs deep in contemporary society where security is prized above anything posing  uncertainty and has become the norm.

Successful entrepreneurs fall early and often, but have the unique ability to get up and go back into action. Helena Rubenstein built one of the earliest international Cosmetic empires though she grew up impoverished in 19th century Poland. She scratched against huge odds and continually bet every asset she possessed on her products, and herself.

My Branding and Consumer Product Development Consulting firm is fortunate to have met hundreds of wonderful entrepreneurs. Unfortunately we have met many thousands more who expressed aspirations, but could not muster one or more of these five essential success traits. This is most disappointing because many of their products and concepts possessed excellent commercial appeal. Creating personal success, when starting with little or nothing, is never easy. If it was everybody would be doing it and they are not.

 

Geoff Ficke to Be Interviewed on The Buzz on Z Talk Radio on April 16th at 8:30 CT. Duquesa Marketing Founder and Expert to Discuss Best Jobs for the Future – Create Your Own!

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.DuquesaMarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609
gficke@msn.com

Geoff Ficke to Be Interviewed on The Buzz on Z Talk Radio on April 16th at 8:30 CT

Duquesa Marketing Founder and Expert to Discuss Best Jobs for the Future – Create Your Own!

Florence, KY  Nancy Ficke, General Manager, announced today that her Branding and Product Development firm Duquesa Marketing has scheduled another in a series of national radio interviews for Company President and Founder Geoff Ficke.

“Geoff Ficke will appear on The Buzz with Hosts Scott Rorek and Zita Ost April 16th  at 8:30 am CT / 9:30 ET on Z Talk Radio (www.ztalkradio.com)”, said Mrs Ficke. “The discussion will be about the opportunity to take hold of your life and career options by exploring Entrepreneurial opportunities that people find around themselves in their hobbies, homes or jobs”.

“We work with hundreds of inventors, small and micro-businesses and entrepreneurs every year”, said Alexis Bruning, V.P. of New Business Development at Duquesa Marketing. “Many of these people carve out successful enterprises by capitalizing on things they experience in their environment. This is a topic that Geoff is passionate about and is always happy to share with an audience”.

Duquesa Marketing has assisted numerous individuals and enterprises start and expand Consumer Product opportunities over the past four decades. The award winning firm has vast experience in all Sales and distribution channels in the United States and internationally.