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Product Development

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Launching a product and successfully selling and marketing it into the marketplace can seem daunting to a prospective entrepreneur. Here is an actual case history of a recent product development we marketed to use as a general template. Remember all products are different and there are numerous ways to achieve goals.

To learn more about product development services, please contact one of our professional marketing consultants today!

Case Study

Product Launch- 3 SistersCase Study 3 Sisters Restorasis™ Skin Care

Introduction: The Sylvana Institute of Frederick, MD, a very successful Wellness Clinic, was vexed by the non-performance they were receiving from major skin care brands they were using to treat dermal maladies experienced by their patients. Advanced clinical skin care was one of the services offered by the group.

Problem: As a Medical Doctor owning a Wellness Clinic the owner sought a better topical, non-invasive treatment for aged, abused and medically stressed dermal conditions suffered by her patients. The Doctor discovered the answer to a scientific mystery and needed to perfect, stabilize and market the concept. She engaged Duquesa Marketing and we began a series of brainstorming sessions to flesh out the current state of the Medical Aesthetic Skin Care market and how best to penetrate this highly competitive category.

Solution: Utilizing her medical research skills the Doctor developed an amazing advance; a 100% natural, food grade (edible), self-sterilizing, lipid complex that proved immediately, and spectacularly effective in addressing serious skin care maladies suffered by her clinic’s patients. We chose a research lab and co-packer that could handle the complex product assembly and batching requirements that made the formulary so vital. Packaging was sources, customized and dressed.

Duquesa Marketing created a pro-active application process that involved two separate formulae to activate themselves when comingled on the dermis. The result, and a proprietary dermal imaging demonstration that we developed, provided clients an immediate proof of product performance that confirmed product effectiveness and efficacy.

Result: We conducted clinical testing and Focus Groups utilizing large classes of clients, VIZIA scanning technology and our proprietary Dermal Imaging before/after demonstration. Approximately 200 hundreds clinic patients used the product as prescribed by the Doctor and her nurse sisters. The results were so strong, and clamor for a retail version became so loud, that we created, customized and executed all of the work product elements necessary for a consumer Retail launch.

Harvest: Before going all in on a huge inventory build, we strategized a Pre-Sell campaign to introduce the line. Utilizing production quality sample packaging, display and hand batching techniques at our private label co-packer, we were able to mitigate the expense of building inventory until we presented the line to Distributors, Wholesalers, Retailers and Shopping Channels.

3 Sisters Restorasis was introduced at Hong Kong Cosmoprof, the largest Beauty show in Asia. Distributors are being organized in Singapore, Korea, the Philippines, India and Malaysia. Based on this strong response the line was introduced at HBA New York and has been picked up by numerous Day Spas and a major shopping channel and the owners have committed to returning to Cosmoprof in both Hong Kong and Bologna.  

Lori Leigh Designs™ Earring Chalets

Introduction: A retired California school teacher was vexed that her extensive earring collection (most women have a lot of earrings) was a mess: disorganized, co-mingled and hard to find mates. She contacted us seeking to address this common problem but not simply by creating a utility system to organize earrings. The prospective client wanted the final product to be fashionable as well functional.

The Problem: The issue of co-mingling fashion and function elements and at a cost that would enable a market introduction at popular price points needed to be addressed.

Solution: We assembled our creative team for a brainstorming session after performing diligent market research. We considered many design and implementation issues. Our goal was to create a must-own, impulse purchase product that would be a strong offering for the Jewelry market as well as the Gift market. Our new client was passionate about the product and its development and wanted to self-market the product herself.

After numerous design critiques and fresh cues were created we had achieved our goal of engineering a unique, gorgeous, fashionable and amazingly useful system to organize and safeguard earring collections. The Earring Chalet was born.

Our Design Engineers approached several factories with fully vetted Release Packets used to create the best possible manufacturing and cost outcomes. While this work was being undertaken the Marketing, Branding and Graphic Art elements were crafted.

Result: In order to mitigate financial risk, we strategized a Pre-Sell campaign that would feature a market launch utilizing Production Quality Prototypes. The Lori Leigh Designs Earring Chalets were introduced at the large JCK Jewelry industry trade show in Las Vegas. The product was launched to the retail Jewelry trade with a Traveler unit offered in five fashion colors and a Vanity unit in three colors. The impact, even with just a handful of prototypes was amazing. The color story and the unique features of the product made a strong visual splash and pulled retailers into the stand. Demonstrating the Earring Chalet’s many unique functional features and performance benefits, combined with popular pricing, made the introduction uber-successful. The Harvest: Based on the orders written at JCK production inventory orders were immediately placed. Brazilian, Columbian and Mexican distributors have been engaged. Sales agents are being contracted to sell the line on a commission basis. Three more immediate trade shows have been contracted and the Earring Chalet’s will be presented at these and in the five major Merchandise Marts in the United States. With this firm “Proof of Product Life” in hand Lori Leigh Designs is beginning development of a second generation of fashion organizing products.  

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Case Study


Introduction: Duquesa Marketing was contacted by a lady with a germ of an idea for a product that would address a commonly occurring problem experienced when a fresh Pedicure is applied at a Nail Salon. This prospective client knew she wanted to solve the dilemma but did not know where to start.

Problem: How to create a solution to protect a freshly applied pedicure until completely dry AND develop and launch the solution product on a limited budget.

Solution: Utilizing our virtual group approach we assembled a team of experienced professionals and initiated a brainstorming session. The problem was considered from every conceivable angle and a strategy devised that evolved toward a market launch utilizing a pre-sell plan. Our design engineer created a rough design, the 3D CAD art. Once approved, a rough prototype was created, critiqued and changes made. With finalized art in hand we assembled Release Packets and circulated these to a number of factories that produced similar products.

We chose a manufacturer based on logistics, costs of assembly, lead times and tooling, but only after interviewing a number of candidate companies. While we were sourcing the best possible producer we began the development of production quality prototypes locally.

Concurrent to these essential steps being nurtured we developed the creative Branding, Customized Marketing Strategy, Sales Model and Business Plan that would be utilized to introduce the Pedi-Protexx™ products. Resolution: After presenting the client with a number of potential Marketing Strategies to implement for the launch, it was decided to introduce Pedi-Protexx at the largest Cosmetic-Beauty Product trade show in the world COSMOPROF Bologna. We attended the show and created a boutique display concept that made the start-up business appear much larger and more established that in reality it was. Point-of-Purchase display, Sales Collateral and stand signage were all one-offs created specifically for the show. The Pedi-Protexx on display, all of 10 units, were all that existed and they were laser cut prototypes, fully dressed and perfected. Harvest: With only 10 protype products we were able to garner orders and negotiate distributor agreements from over 30 countries. The client is now utilizing Receivable Financing to leverage her production and order fulfillment. The projects goal was to receive a “Proof of Product Life” before the client was exposed to the significant financial risk of building inventory. This customized strategy enabled the product to be seen by the key decision makers in the Cosmetic industry and their approval confirmed the clients initial assumptions about the need to address the specific pedicure problem.  

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The Product: A board game

Product Development CompanyIntroduction: The inventor approached Duquesa Marketing seeking direction, options, a marketing strategy. He had created the game because he loved basketball and could not find anything similar in the market place. He started to hand craft games in his workshop and sell locally. In essence, he conducted his own test market. The game has wonderful play features, is based on a popular sport and kids loved it. So did we!

Problem: How to commercialize an unusual board game? The inventor was making games one at a time out of wood. The toy/game business is under immense pricing and competitive pressure.

Solution: After reviewing the game, the industry and the inventor’s desires Duquesa Marketing determined that the commercial opportunity would best be developed through a license. Before approaching potential licensing partners, we customized a product development strategy, plan and identified every element necessary to achieve success. We designed unit carton art, re-designed the board and play parts, adding magnets for travel play, patented and copyrighted the game and play rules. The re-designed game was then assembled in prototype form and with art, sent offshore for pricing and manufacturing detail. All patent and trademark work was undertaken. With costs, source of production and lead times, freight forwarding data in hand we had the tools to present the opportunity to license the game.

Result: Duquesa Marketing created a marketing strategy to approach all potential license partners with every question and issue pre-addressed. We knew the cost of goods and created the sales model based on market place reality. We identified the usual, known toy industry targets-and-a number of alternative potentially interested parallel opportunities. A Press Folio and customized License documents were presented to pre-qualified interested companies. The documents clearly presented the products features, Unique Selling Proposition, size of market, competition, margins, marketing strategies, line extensions and branding possibilities.

Harvest: Duquesa Marketing conducted all negotiations, as the client had no previous experience in such matters. Interestingly, the game was licensed to a company in a parallel industry -not toy- whose executives loved basketball and fell in love with the games play features. The inventor was paid a significant rights fee for signing over all rights to the game, patents and trademarks. The inventor will receive a royalty on sales for the next 15 years and a small percentage of the cost of production for each game manufactured. In addition, expenses and personal appearance fees will be paid to promote the game. This license generates four sources of income for the inventor.

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Case Study

Duquesa Marketing saves clients money, time and eliminates mistakes. Here is an example of a project DMI resurrected, restructured and successfully funded.

The Product/Service: E-Commerce Site Targeting Retirement Services

Introduction: The creators of Senior Genie, an e-commerce site targeting Baby Boomers and retirement issues, had failed in their attempt to commercialize their vision. They had self-funded a web-site, but had not constructed a strategy in order to fully commercialize and generate income from their content.

Problem: Senior Genie was a boring, lifeless site with no imminent hook to generate traffic, advertising or interest. The marketing of the site was non-existent. Just having a web-site does not equate to a successful enterprise. The content was general, too broad based, not focused. Advertisers were unenthusiastic, even though the Baby Boom generation is staring at retirement in record numbers. Visits to the site were minimal.

Solution: Duquesa Marketing visited Senior Genie management in Las Vegas, NV. Duquesa Marketing was hired to immediately develop a fresh approach in an effort to resurrect the e-commerce opportunity. After review, analysis and research, Duquesa Marketing created a tightly focused strategy built around a proprietary club feature: The Royal Retirement Registry™. Public relations, targeted print media ad placement, site optimization, redesigned graphics, banners, links and content were utilized. The Unique Selling Proposition was identified as an educational site for pre/post retirees interested in relocation, second homes, snow birding in the most desirable retirement locales in the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe.

Result: Duquesa Marketing crafted a customized Business Plan and the document was crucial in Senior Genie receiving the necessary equity investment. Senior Genie is implementing the focus of the strategy. The highly complex, interactive site is being constructed using advanced Java script, with Duquesa Marketing producing graphics, software and site construction. Trademarks and copyrights have been obtained. Sales collateral is complete. Senior Genie’s Royal Retirement Registry will offer a tableau of important relocation and travel data, while providing advertisers a highly desirable demographic audience for sales, coupons, discounts and service introductions.

Harvest: The principals of Senior Genie have been fully funded, have a focused and desirable market niche to nurture and a strong Business Plan to utilize as a road map to success. For the first time in several years they are earning income and anticipate many years of exciting opportunity as the Royal Retirement Registry™ is expanded.

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Case Study

Beauty Wonders -- International Distribution Licenses

Introduction: This London and Dallas, TX based Cosmetic Company had obtained distribution rights in the United States for a lotion that was reputed to inhibit the re-growth of hair. This is a problem for many men (body hair) and women (facial hair growth). In certain cultures this is cause for great embarrassment.

Problem: The Jordanian producer of the Hair Re-Growth Inhibitor was improperly labeling and packaging the product for international distribution. The label statements were not correct. In addition, the distribution license was limited to the United States and the international market was not addressed in the agreement. Also, the ex-factory pricing that was specified in the agreement was much too expensive and made distribution potential very limited.

Solution: Duquesa Marketing wrote a Business Plan for Beauty Wonders that revolved around the Company developing a proprietary formula that they would own. We organized a proper Product Development program with one of the top labs in the United States. Custom Packaging was created and an International Marketing and Branding Strategy was customized. Focus Group and Clinical Testing of the product confirmed excellent performance characteristics and consumer acceptance of the Hair Re-Growth Inhibitor.

Result: A better product, at a much better price structure and total control of a product that now meets all FDA and European Union legal requirements has enabled the Company to eliminate a troublesome middle-man and greatly broaden marketing potential.

Harvest: The Brand was launched at the largest Cosmetic and Beauty Industry Trade Show in the world, COSMOPROF Bologna. The Company was swamped with contacts after demonstrating the unique performance features of the product. International Distribution Agreements are currently being finalized with Distributors from Italy, Israel, Hungary, Russia, Spain and Dubai, among other direct purchasers. The line is currently being expanded with a new product and more trade shows are being booked for 2012.

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Case Study

Skull Hooker

Introduction: Duquesa Marketing met the creator of the Skull Hooker, a real estate developer who was passionate about hunting. This gentleman favored big game hunting and had amassed a trove of trophy heads. He could find nothing on the market that would universally enable him to readily mount his trophies. He had never before tried to Market a Consumer Product or Sporting Good.

Problem: While the Skull Hooker was a truly clever device that our client had engineered to easily mount trophy heads, its utility was difficult to convey to consumers. In short, it looked like a DIY piece of metal Hardware, not a mount for big game trophy heads.

Solution: We developed a unique Unit Carton to package the product that fully detailed in cameo photographs and copy bullet points the features and universal benefits of Skull Hooker for hanging any head of any size. The packaging and Point-of-Purchase display enabled even the most casual hunter to readily understand the simplicity of the product.

Result: We sourced and worked with an off-shore foundry to drive down cost and provide us with a turn-key, fully packaged and self-contained product shipped in counter display units. Along with a creative Branding Program, a much more favorable Sales Model, a pre-sell campaign that included Public Relations targeting the Hunting journals and a Guerilla Marketing Campaign the product was ready for market introduction.

Harvest: Skull Hooker was launched at the Shot Show in Las Vegas. Shot is the largest Outdoor Product Trade Show in the world. Competition is fierce. Skull Hooker was selected as a Best in Show New Product in its category. The product was received with great enthusiasm. Distribution deals were negotiated with Gander Mountain, Cabella’s, Bass Pro Shops, International Distributors and even African Big Game Safari management companies.

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Case Study

3D Underwater Graphics Pool & Spa Art -- Develop from Concept

Introduction: Duquesa Marketing was introduced by referral to the creator of a unique swimming pool accessory, 3D Underwater Graphic Action Posters. The project was in concept form. The posters posed several technical problems that needed to be solved before commercialization of this fun product could be undertaken. The end product would offer underwater 3D views of sharks, pirate ships, treasure, mermaids, etc.

Problem: The posters needed to adhere to walls of a full swimming pool without damaging the surface when removed. They also needed to be resistant to sun fading. The substrate needed to be able to stand up to pool chemicals, human mishandling and the inks needed to silk screen the 3D action images that gave the posters their visual underwater appeal.

Solution: Working with our Product Design Engineers and 3M Adhesives Group we were able to perfect the application, production, product life and performance elements that were essential to the commercial viability of the posters. The application of the 3D art, created by an OSCAR-winning 3D artist could be applied to a substrate that was durable, flexible and served as an underwater poster board. The adhesive was a special formula developed by 3M chemists that would firmly affix the posters to any smooth underwater surface and allow for easy removal. A lab in Phoenix successfully stress tested the posters in extreme sun, heat and chemical conditions.

Result: Duquesa Marketing shot a video loop of a 12 year old boy applying the 3D Underwater Graphic Action Posters by himself in a home swimming pool. Stills were removed from the loop and used on the floor stand display we designed and used for the trade show launch of the product as well as other Sales Collateral and Web-Site.

Harvest: The posters were unveiled at the Pool and Spa Show in Las Vegas and were a huge hit. Frontgate featured the products on the cover of their Summer Catalog. Numerous retailers, international distributors and Swimming Pool Product Suppliers picked up 3d Underwater Graphics. The Company adds several new designs each year and is gearing up to produce customized posters for hotels, corporations, and individuals.

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Case Study

Le Bain Couture Aromatherapy – Joint Venture

Introduction: Oil and water do not readily mix. When combined they form parallel, separate entities within the same cavity. I wanted to explore the possibility of taking these two contrasting elements further, by creating a visually stunning, mesmerizing and mysterious formula for a tri-colored liquid aromatherapy product. If this could be achieved it would result in a breakthrough in the world of luxurious Bath and Body care products.

Problem: Stabilizing three separate color and formula layers inside the same container had never been done successfully. In addition to the visual effect we were hoping to achieve, the performance benefits of each of the layers needed to be safeguarded so they did not break down and compromise themselves.

Solution: After almost a yearlong collaboration with a bench chemist we were able to perfect the separation of a tri-level formula by calibrating the specific weights and balancing the layers with a range of natural additives and colorings.  When shaken the layers combined. After use they quickly re-separated to their striation levels. This Pro-Active usage feature was a significant boost to sales.

Result: Le Bain Couture was developed and launched around a stunning array of tri-color Satine Bath Oils, Soaps, Body Lotions and Bath Crystals. An award winning container featuring a convex front and concave back (Packaging World Magazine, Best new Product Design, 1996) served to exponentially increase the visual impact of the line when merchandised in stores.

Harvest: A Joint Venture was entered into with a large multi-national Cosmetic Beauty Supply manufacturer. They provided manufacturing and fulfillment services. Duquesa Marketing provided Branding, Marketing and Sales Management for the United States and International markets. The product was introduced at COSMOPROF Bologna, the largest Beauty Product show in the world and received unprecedented acclaim. Macy’s, Dillard’s, Selfridge, Renaiscente, Preciados and many other international stores carried the brand for many years.

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Case Study

Juvenile Product Oral Care – Address Wellness

Introduction: An Entrepreneur had noticed that his granddaughter was not paying proper attention to her oral care. She brushed her teeth but not properly, not long enough and without purpose. This contributed to her overall poor tooth and gum condition. He sought a way to address this problem which he rightly projected was fairly common among juvenile children.

Problem: How to take young children, too large for parents to provide oral wellness care, but too small to understand the importance of proper brushing and oral hygiene and make their mouth care regimen fun and interesting.

Solution: Duquesa Marketing was retained by the Entrepreneur to address the problem described and organize a product solution. We collaborated with our associated group of Product Design Engineers to create a fun, toy-like small battery operated appliance that incorporated all of the elements that children enjoy; music, color, motion, light and a whimsical character. The unit also was pro-active in that a timer was started by the child and the unit entertained for 2 minutes, the length of time dentists recommend as the minimum required for proper brushing.

Result: The unit was perfected in prototype form, manufacturing sourced, and a customized Marketing Strategy was executed. A Focus Group confirmed that juvenile children were entranced by the toy-like look and performance features of the unit and actually looked forward to brushing their teeth, often adding time to their routine. A Dentist endorsed the unique features and benefits of the product.

Harvest: The product was introduced to retailers and international distributors at the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas. After receiving a strong initial reception and purchase orders from Big Box retailers such as Toys R Us and Bed Bath & Beyond, the creator of the concept for the product obtained a Licensing deal with a large international manufacturer.

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Case Study

DT Jewelry Holdings – Venture Capital

Introduction: Duquesa Marketing was approached by a Venture Capital firm in New York that was interested in investing in a jewelry start-up. We were hired to create and perfect a Sales Model and Business Plan that would link together a consortium of independent Jewelry manufacturers in the Rhode Island area and provide customized pieces for the retail jewelry market.

Problem: Carrying jewelry samples has become tenuous. Valuable pieces and travelling salesmen are marks for thieves. Stores, especially smaller independent jewelers cannot afford to carry a broad inventory, especially if the collections are expensive. These shops need a system that would enable them to counter the national chain jewelers and the economies of scale that their volume buying provides.

Solution: After researching the market and considering the new technologies that were just becoming available at the time we recommended a “Virtual Jewelry Store Program”. Software was created that would enable any participating jeweler to offer any combination of product and price to consumers. A further advantage the system afforded participants was the ability to highly customize and personalize pieces.

Result: A small counter top kiosk unit was developed. The customer could use the unit to choose from over 3 million combinations of stones, shapes, colors, precious metals, settings and jewelry pieces to create an item that was unique for them, pre-paid, delivered directly and priced to reflect the savings available from not carrying the inventory in stock.

Harvest: Today, the DT Kiosk and Virtual Jewelry Store Program is offered in over 2000 independent jewelers in the United States and Canada. The consortium of specialty jewelry manufacturers in New England have prospered and the program continues to expand.

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Case Study

Candles – Joint Venture

Introduction: While working with a Cosmetic chemist to develop a Skin Care product for a client we were introduced to an interesting material. The manufacturer was offering the raw material as a substrate for a Skin Care Mask. As I read the MSDS sheet I noted that there several unique alternative benefits and performance features of the element. It seemed that it would hold Fragrance well, was flexible, transparent, and had a very low burn point. The Chemist and I wondered if it could be converted to a candle.

Problem: I had never manufactured candles. We decided to test and play with the “flubber”. I ran to a Hobby Lobby store and bought a candle making kit. The chemist and I played with converting the flexible “flubber” like product into a candle vehicle.

Solution: We discovered that the soft gel-like candles not only burned cooler than wax candles, but they burned much slower as a result. This enabled us to better control fragrance levels to maximize scent pitch and control costs. Another benefit was visual. The candles could be embellished with amazing visual cues and bold, vivid colorations and patterns.

Result: After we perfected the process for making the first gel candles we sought a Joint Venture partner. A Texas-based Company with a large candle production capacity was immediately impressed and agreed to enter into a production and distribution agreement.

Harvest: The Joint Venture never entered the high volume, low margin commoditized gel candle business, but enjoyed first market mover advantage in the upscale, designer space. The Company sold millions of these beautiful designer gel-candles packaged in Murano glass, Bormioli Italian Decanters and in Private label campaigns for Victoria Secret, Bath & Body Works, Bombay Company, Crabtree & Evelyn and many other retail groups.

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