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Archive for the ‘Product Design’ Category

Drop the Dreams and Establish Solid Goals and Plans In Order to Succeed in Start-up Business

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

by: Geoff Ficke

Drop the Dreams and Establish Solid Goals and Plans In Order to Succeed in Start-up Business

Recently I watched a television show which featured Inventions, Small Business Start-ups and Entrepreneurship as central program topics. A panel of experts reviewed product submissions and interviewed the prospective entrepreneurs about various aspects of their projects. The interplay was interesting, and disappointing.

The word that was most commonly used by these first time would-be business owners was “dream”. They each seemed to be enamored of their dream. The dream element was imbued and layered into many aspects of their commercial opportunity. Unfortunately the panel of experts never made the point that dreaming is not doing, and doing is what successful entrepreneurs must aspire to do.

Every successful entrepreneur I have ever counseled has been goal driven. They set realistic goals. These goals may require climbing seemingly difficult hurdles but successful small business start-ups possess the ability to meet and overcome every market challenge. And the challenges are many.

If it were easy to commercialize an invention or launch a small business there would be exponentially more successful, rich entrepreneurs. The fact that it is difficult to convert an idea into a profitable venture is a natural culling device employed by markets to stop those not possessing the necessary makeup from taking the difficult plunge into entrepreneurship. It is hard to start a business from scratch and compete in a cluttered marketplace and it should be.

For every successful entrepreneur that we work with there are at least a hundred that approach, discuss, attempt to sell their concept and are turned away. Virtually all we decline to work with have one thing in common: they are dreamers. It only takes a few e-mail questions or a minute on a phone call to discover if we are talking to the 1% (goal driven) or the 99% (dreamers).

The goal driven inventor, entrepreneur or small business candidate might not possess the knowledge or necessary skill sets necessary to immediately commercialize their plans.  But they recognize their shortcomings and are fully committed to working, studying and researching their way toward gaining that knowledge. Whether they are
self-taught, or contract for professional consulting talent successful entrepreneurs innately understand the importance of proper due diligence and having a well vetted plan.

The term “American Dream” is as old as the republic. Whenever we hear the term used colloquially we immediately recognize the speaker as referring to the successes deemed so important in our culture: owning a home or business, education, career choice, etc. These goals are invariably gained through hard work, not dreaming. Success at almost all of life’s enterprises is attained by setting solid goals and having a plan. That the American Dream is achieved by doing, not dreaming, is ironic.

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 Krysan & Associates to Act as Sales Agents for Fashion Accessory Client in the Midwest Region

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.duquesamarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609

gficke@msn.com

Duquesa Marketing Appoints Krysan & Associates to Act as Sales Agents for Fashion Accessory Client in the Midwest Region

Premiere Agency Based in Urbandale, IA to Represent Lori Leigh Designs™ Earring Chalets™ in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska

Florence, KY  Geoff Ficke, President of international Consumer Product Development and Branding Consulting firm Duquesa Marketing announced today that his group has
appointed Krysan & Associates to handle sales of Lori Leigh Designs™ Earring Chalets™ in the states of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska.

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

“We love lines like Lori Leigh Designs Earring Chalets”, said Dick Krysan, President of Krysan & Associates. “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 Appoints Next Step Reps to Act as Sales Agents for Fashion Accessory Client

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.duquesamarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609

gficke@msn.com

Duquesa Marketing Appoints Next Step Reps to Act as Sales Agents for Fashion Accessory Client

Premiere Las Vegas Showroom to Represent Lori Leigh Designs Earring Chalets in Southwest USA and Hawaii

Florence, KY  Geoff Ficke, President of international Consumer Product Development and Branding Consulting firm Duquesa Marketing announced today that his group has
appointed Next Step Reps to handle sales of Lori Leigh Designs Earring Chalets in the Southwest United States and Hawaii.

“Next Step Reps has a strong history of success with luxury fashion accessory and jewelry lines”, noted Mr. Ficke. “Their new Las Vegas Mart showroom is stunning and their strong retail relationships were crucial to our decision to roll out this stunning line with Jackie Moon’s Next Step Reps team”.

“We love lines like Lori Leigh Designs Earring Chalets”, said Jackie Moon, President of Next Step Reps. “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.

Stickman Stew™ Announces Appointment of Invurgency To Manage Manufacturing and Component Sourcing

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.duquesamarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609
gficke@msn.com

Stickman Stew™ Announces Appointment of Invurgency To Manage Manufacturing and Component Sourcing

Cincinnati Based Design Engineering Firm Maintains Extensive Relationships in the Toy and Gift Product Development Area

Rockport, TX Jane Guinn, President and Creator of Stickman Stew™ Thematic Characters announced today that her Toy and Gift design atelier has engaged the services of Invergency llc to manage the manufacturing of her group’s products for a scheduled retail introduction in Spring-2013.

“Together with my Managing Consultants at Duquesa Marketing we selected Invergency from a robust field of candidates”, said Mrs. Guinn. “We were looking for a vendor with deep experience in both the Toy and Gift spaces, an unusual combination. Rick Harrington and his Invergency team offer a great CV in both areas”.

“I have worked with Geoff Ficke and Duquesa Marketing on many projects over many years”, said Rick Harrington, Founder of Invurgency llc. “When the Duquesa team introduced me to the Stickman concept I was thrilled to be presented with an opportunity to work on the development of this beautifully conceived line of whimsical
characters
. I’ve done many doll and character projects but Stickman is the most unique”.

“Our plan is to have all of the work elements for the Stickman Stew Thematic Character project completed by late 2012 and this schedule is being maintained,” said Jane Guinn. “We are currently studying the best path to utilize to introduce the Stickman and Stickgal products to Gift and Toy retailers in early 2013”.