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Archive for the ‘Innovative Products’ Category

Problem Solving is Key to Realizing Success In the Hyper-Active Consumer Product Marketplace

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

by: Geoff Ficke

Many of my students and prospective clients often ask a similar question: “What is the key to successfully launching a new product or service”? While there are many elements that allow for market success there is one that stands out. That is the ability for a product to provide a solution to a problem that consumers readily are able to recognize and understand.

A few years ago a direct response marketing company launched a product called the Snuggy. Initially the short form infomercial that introduced the Snuggy was considered a bit silly. The product after all is a blanket with sleeves and it looked a tad cumbersome to wear. However, as the campaign took hold, and the benefits of the Snuggy became apparent sales took off. Since launch, the Snuggy has sold well over 25 million units and has resulted in the building of a brand that regularly expands with new product
introductions
. The Snuggy offered comfort and freedom of motion.

Direct response marketers are constantly looking for products that solve problems. The items they most prize can seem almost mundane. But, if a better mousetrap can be discovered, and the product works as promised and can be built at the right price, deals will get done.

The best ideas we review almost always are generated from the creator’s personal environment. Work, a hobby, or special interests act as laboratories for the flowering of ideas that enhance the inventor’s tasks. Avid cooks devise the most useful food handling items and kitchen implements. People involved in fashion and design create interesting beauty products, jewelry concepts and other related products. Most of the useful hardware and DIY products we have reviewed evolve from a handyman, or craftsman’s drive to improve their end work product. This truism applies to every area of endeavor.

I have, on many occasions, discovered really clever problem solving gadgets being used in an acquaintances home. The item is almost always jerry-rigged, homemade, often crude but able to solve a specific problem as the creator intended. The designer usually has never considered commercializing and launching their item as a consumer product for sale in the retail marketplace. They simply built the device to solve a problem and are happy that their effort has provided the appropriate solution.

There are numerous variables that are involved in the ultimate success or failure of any consumer product or service. Design, packaging, branding, a customized business
plan
and marketing strategy, research, cost of mass production, and many other elements enter the equation that decides the success or death of a product. However, the one factor that will offer the greatest potential for a successful outcome is the ability of your project to provide a solution to a readily recognizable problem. Does your item solve a problem?

This 19th Century Cosmetic Industry Pioneer’s Name is Synonymous with the Creation of Safe Mascara

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

by: Geoff Ficke

If a consumer walks into almost any mass market retail beauty product counter In the world they will encounter a wide array of cosmetic and skin care products under the Brand name Rimmel. The line seems ubiquitous, common, moderately priced and well-marketed to attract the mid-price shopper. And yet, the Brand has an amazing provenance and is an important pioneering innovator in the creation of the modern cosmetic industry.

Born in France, but reared in London, Eugene Rimmel was the son of the manager of a perfumery on London’s swank Bond Street. As a young man he apprenticed in the shop under the tutelage of his father and became adept at creating scents, lotions and cosmetic products that satisfied the needs of the gentry of the day. In the year 1834 he opened his own perfumery, The House of Rimmel.

In collaboration with his father, Rimmel became one of London’s most successful cosmetic formulators. He quickly became the leading creative force in the emerging beauty
product industry
and was especially appreciated for the advances he developed in the areas of hygiene and product efficacy. Eugene Rimmel became the leader in promoting the still nascent habit of regular bathing.

The House of Rimmel became famous for their “vinegar water, pomades and one of the first effective mouth rinses, the precursor to modern mouthwash. However, it was the development of the still rarely used, expensive and unsafe product called “mascara” that made Eugene Rimmel’s reputation.

Mascara was widely known, and users appreciated the cosmetic effect that mascara provided in embellishing and dramatizing the eye lashes. However, the available compounds of the early 19th century were difficult to apply, unstable and very often lead to eye irritation and even disease. Rimmel developed the first commercial, non-toxic mascara.

Rimmel Mascara was an immediate hit. As sales of the mascara exploded so did sales of the Company’s other products. This lead to the organization of international
distributors
and Rimmel became one of the first cosmetic businesses to be sold in wide international distribution. Because the Rimmel mascara was so popular, this silver bullet product became the appellation for mascara in many languages. In Spanish, French, Portuguese, Romanian, Italian, Turkish, Persian and other languages the word used to designate mascara is “Rimmel”.

Not only did Rimmel pioneer safety and hygiene in its research and development, the Company excelled in marketing the Brand. At a time when consumer product Branding and Marketing were primitive, Eugene Rimmel proved to be a master brand builder. He was among the earliest pioneers of the use of direct mail catalogs. A particular effective technique which he developed was to advertise in theatrical play bills wherever Rimmel products were sold.

One of Rimmel’s proudest achievements was being awarded 10 Royal Warrants from European monarchs for his fragrances, toiletry and cosmetic product creations. Great Britain’s Queen Victoria was a particularly avid supporter of The House of Rimmel.

When Eugene Rimmel died in 1887 the New York Times proclaimed him to have been “The Prince of Perfumers”. He was succeeded in managing the Company by his sons and the family held continual control until 1949. Since then the business has been owned by a series of multi-national corporations. Today the world-wide owners of Rimmel are Coty, Inc.

Today, the importance of Eugene Rimmel’s pioneering efforts has lost significance with contemporary consumers. Rimmel cosmetics seem to be a brand name of no unique value, no personality that we can relate to. The mass market products carrying the Rimmel name compete with a host of other low to mid-priced cosmetic lines. This dilutes the historic provenance and importance that this visionary entrepreneur applied to building his Company and his legacy.

The Art of Candle Making Reaches its Apex In Paris at This Cathedral of Artesian Scents

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

by: Geoff Ficke

For many years I was intimately involved in the Perfume business as an international distributor, developer and producer of finished Branded fragrance items and raw materials. One of the necessities essential to achieving success in the essential oil industry is to spend considerable amounts of time in Provence, France. This hardly qualifies as hard duty.

In addition to tending to my firms requirements to source packaging and novel perfume formulary I enjoyed wonderful networking opportunities. From producers of rare specialty plants to famous “noses” I met some of the most creative talents in the luxury cosmetic world. They were always suggesting new stores and ateliers for me to visit to discover fresh, unusual, and often ancient, techniques and recipes for concocting some of the most wonderful aural experiences the world has to offer.

One of these visits led me to discover a nearly four century old purveyor of candles. These are not candles as you might envision. Tapers, votives, or glass encased, over-scented illuminations. The candles crafted by Cire Trudon are works of art.

Founded in 1643, Cire Trudon established quickly itself as the “apothecaire” to the Court of Versailles. Claude Trudon, originally a Parisian grocer, developed a wax production method utilizing the highest quality beeswax and then washing this material thru gypsum. Mr. Trudon imported the finest cotton wicks and this lead to a final candle that was the whitest, cleanest burning in Europe.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, before electrification of homes, candles were the preferred light source for use in illuminating space. Royalty and the upper class used copious volumes of candles to bring light to their palaces and lodges. A by-product of this type of lighting source is smoke and discoloration of furniture, frescoes and tapestry.
The Cire Trudon candles minimized these deficiencies and became the preferred purveyor of spatial light initially to the French, then quickly to royalty across Europe.

Napoleon Bonaparte was a great fan of Cire Trudon candles and gave them exclusively as gifts. When his son was born he received but a single present from his Emperor father: a Cire Trudon candle embellished with three solid pieces of gold sculpted as his head.

Cire Trudon avoided the calamity that befell so many candle manufacturers when electrification and the light bulb were introduced. The Company had long before become a cult favorite of the rich and famous owing mainly to its collaboration with the fragrance houses based in Grasse, Provence. The firm’ products tell stories through the wonderful, poetically conceptual scents that have been crafted over the ages by these perfumers.

The Cire Trudon range consists of 22 classic scents. Each tells a story. One of the most famous is “Solis Rex” (Sun King). The floor boards of the Palace of Versailles smell of fir bark and cedar wood. That this amazing aura is captured so magically in these candles is testament to the craft and creative genius of the perfumers of Grasse and the candle makers of Cire Trudon.

Cire Trudon also provides modern consumers proper guidance in the lost art of properly burning the ancient, simple candle. The first burn of a new candle should last about two hours in order to properly release fragrance. When extinguishing a candle use a metal wick dipper to gently push the wick into the wax. This will eliminate smoking which interferes with the scent. Two hours is the ideal time to burn a candle, not all day.

When in Paris a visit to the Cire Trudon store is to step back into time, a time when artisan craftsmanship was paramount. Cire Trudon candles are sold in fine stores around the world. However, they always seem more illuminating when experienced in their original home venue.

mybackpacktags™ Engages Duquesa Marketing to Serve as Managing Consultants for Project Roll-Out

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.duquesamarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609

gficke@msn.com

mybackpacktags™ Engages Duquesa Marketing to Serve as Managing Consultants for Project Roll-Out

Prize Winning Fun-to-Use Communication System Enables Parents To Easily & Safely Direct After-School Plans and Activities

Cincinnati, OH: Camille Gartner and Kristi Vredeveld, Partners and Co-Founders of Juvenile Product development firm mybackpacktags™ announced today that they
have retained the services of Duquesa Marketing to act as managing consultants for the product development and market launch of their novel line of school communication
items
.

“We conducted thorough due diligence in vetting candidates to work closely with us to build, brand, market and launch the line of mybackpacktags™  that we designed,” said Ms. Gartner. “Duquesa Marketing was easily the most experienced and creative firm we reviewed. The choice was an easy one.”

“mybackpacktags™ offers unique features and benefits that are not currently offered by any juvenile product manufacturer,” said Nancy Ficke, General Manager of Florence, KY based Duquesa Marketing. “Any parent will be able to readily see the utility that Camille Gartner and Kristi Vredeveld have designed into these products.”

“We are planning a Spring 2013 market introduction,” said Ms. Vredeveld. “Trade shows are currently being researched and we will announce participation shortly.  A strong
sales promotional program will be provided to retailers to insure strong sell-through.”

At the 2012 Cincinnati Innovates Regional Innovation Competition, mybackpacktags™ was awarded the “Early Bird” award for the most votes received from May 1st to May 30th. Cincinnati Innovates is an innovation contest that offers cash and in-kind prizes, totaling $100,000, to contestants in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Duquesa Marketing Appoints Cliff Price & Company to Act as Sales Agents for Fashion Accessory Client

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.duquesamarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609

gficke@msn.com

Duquesa Marketing Appoints Cliff Price & Company to Act as Sales Agents for Fashion Accessory Client

Premiere Dallas Showroom to Represent Lori Leigh Designs™ Earring Chalets™ in TX, NM, AR, LA and OK

Florence, KY  Geoff Ficke, President of international Consumer Product Development and Branding Consulting firm Duquesa Marketing announced today that his group has
appointed Cliff Price & Company to handle sales of Lori Leigh Designs™ Earring Chalets™ in the states of Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

“Cliff Price & Company has a strong history of success with luxury fashion accessory and jewelry lines”, noted Mr. Ficke. “Their Dallas showroom is stunning and their strong retail relationships were crucial to our decision to roll out this stunning line with Cliff Price’s team”.

“We love lines like Lori Leigh Designs Earring Chalets”, said Cliff Price, President of Cliff Price & Company. “Products that offer unique consumer features and benefits and include color, style and value are exciting for our agents to represent. These vibrant Earring Chalets are perfect for any lady with an extensive jewelry collection”.

“We are overwhelmed at the strong market response the Earring Chalets have received”, said Nancy Ficke, General Manager of Duquesa Marketing. “We will be announcing a number of agency appointments and retail launches in the coming weeks. International distributors and trade shows are also being organized.

 

 

Duquesa Marketing Appoints The Southern Link to Act as Sales Agents in the Southeast for Fashion Accessory Client

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.duquesamarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609

gficke@msn.com

Duquesa Marketing Appoints The Southern Link to Act as Sales Agents for Fashion Accessory Client

Premiere Agency Based in Atlanta, GA to Represent Lori Leigh Designs™ Earring Chalets™ in NC, SC, TN, GA, FL, AL and MS

Florence, KY  Geoff Ficke, President of international Consumer Product Development and Branding Consulting firm Duquesa Marketing announced today that his group has
appointed The Southern Link to handle sales of Lori Leigh Designs™ Earring Chalets™ in the states of North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.

“The Southern Link has a strong history of success with luxury fashion accessory and jewelry lines”, noted Mr. Ficke. “Their Atlanta showroom is stunning and their strong retail relationships were crucial to our decision to roll out this stunning line with The Southern Link’s team”.

“We love lines like Lori Leigh Designs Earring Chalets”, said Brad Rosenkampff, President of The Southern Link. “Products that offer unique consumer features and benefits and include color, style and value are exciting for our agents to represent. These vibrant Earring Chalets are perfect for any lady with an extensive jewelry collection”.

“We are overwhelmed at the strong market response the Earring Chalets have received”, said Nancy Ficke, General Manager of Duquesa Marketing. “We will be announcing a number of agency appointments and retail launches in the coming weeks. International distributors and trade shows are also being organized.

Duquesa Marketing Announces Turnkey Kitchen Accessories, Tools and Implements Concierge Development Program

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.duquesamarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609
gficke@msn.com

Duquesa Marketing Announces Turnkey Kitchen Accessories, Tools  and Implements Concierge Development Program

Florence, KY Geoff Ficke, President of international, award winning Product Development and Marketing Consulting firm Duquesa Marketing announced today the launch of a turnkey, one-stop Concierge Development Program for Kitchen Accessories,vTools and Implements start-up ventures.

“We are approached regularly by entrepreneurs that are stymied by the vagaries of launching products in the category”, said Mr. Ficke. “The Concierge Development Program enables these developers to have a comprehensive menu of services and veteran service providers at their disposal resulting in the savings of time, money and elimination of mistakes”.

“From patent and trademark legal assistance, to lab and prototype development, customized marketing strategies, regulatory issues in the United States and international markets and trade show presentations and key account approaches, entrepreneurs will have access to every essential element needed to get to market quickly, while minimizing financial exposure with the Concierge Development Program”, said Nancy Ficke, General Manager of Duquesa Marketing.

“Many people come to us with great ideas, but have no idea where to begin”, said Alexis Bruning, V.P. of New Product Development for Duquesa Marketing. “Unfortunately, others come to us after they have spent time, money and made mistakes trying to self-market their product idea. In each case they find the Concierge Development Program a much more beneficial and useful tool”.

For over 35 years Duquesa Marketing has provided Marketing and Product Development consulting services to Consumer Product entrepreneurs and small businesses.
The Company has extensive experience in all channels of product distribution, in the United States and international markets.

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.

Lori Leigh Designs™ to Attend LA Gift Show After Receiving Strong Market Response at JCK

Saturday, July 21st, 2012
Duquesa Marketing

Press Release 

For Immediate Release
Contact: Geoff Ficke
859-567-1609

gficke@msn.com

Lori Leigh Designs to Attend LA Gift Show After Receiving Strong Market Response at JCK

Novel Fashion-Gift Line of Earring Chalets Organizers to Be Displayed at Booth #1643 July 27-30 at Los Angeles Convention Center
Whittier, CA   Lori Torline, President of Lori Leigh Designs Inc. announced today that her fashion accessory atelier will unveil its range of unique Earring Chalet organizers at the upcoming Los Angeles Gift Show. This semi-annual mart is considered the most successful show of its kind for retailers located in the Pacific time-zone.
“We launched the Earring Chalets in the United States in June at JCK, the huge jewelry industry show and results were overwhelming”, said Mrs. Torline. “Based on the brands performance at JCK, we immediately expanded the trade show participation and are aggressively organizing sales coverage in every market”.
“The unique features and benefits of the Earring Chalets, great pricing and their colorful fashion cues make the products the perfect impulse gift item”, said Nancy Ficke,
General Manager of Florence, KY based Duquesa Marketing, managing consultants for this project. “We are expanding the production capacity and both USA and
international schedules to meet ramped up demand”.
Lori Leigh Designs offers the Vanity Earring Chalet in three fashion colors. The Traveler is available in five designer colors. The line can be viewed at www.LoriLeighDesigns.com. The Brand is supported with a strong sales promotional program.

Duquesa Marketing Client to Introduce Earring Chalet Organizers at July 27-30 Los Angeles Gift Show

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.duquesamarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609
gficke@msn.com

Duquesa Marketing Client to Introduce Earring Chalet Organizers at July 27-30 Los Angeles Gift Show

Managing Consultants Plans to Accelerate Speed of USA and International Launches as Initial Market Response Is Overwhelming

Florence, KY Geoff Ficke, President of award winning international Consumer Product Development and Marketing Consulting firm Duquesa Marketing announced today that his group will launch Lori Leigh Designs range of Earring Chalets at the upcoming Los Angeles Gift Show.

“The Earring Chalets are equal parts fashion accessory, jewelry organizer and the perfect thoughtful impulse gift item”, said Mr. Ficke. “We launched in the jewelry area at the recent JCK Show in Las Vegas and were overwhelmed by the retail response to the unique features and benefits of the product. The client has agreed to accelerate the launch by adding more shows and production capacity”.

“Lori Leigh Designs™ has created the perfect gift item that any woman with an extensive collection will appreciate and enjoy, and let’s face it, that is almost every woman”, said Nancy Ficke, General Manager of Duquesa Marketing. “As Managing Consultants for the Earring Chalet project we are keen to push the launch forward and expose these beautiful items to a greater number of markets”.

Lori Leigh Designs line of Earring Chalets is crafted to help women more easily access, organize and protect their extensive collections. The product is offered in two styles: The Vanity is presented in three fashion colors and the Traveler is available in five designer shades. For more information, visit www.LoriLeighDesigns.com.