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Archive for March, 2011

Why Trade Shows Are Crucial When Introducing A New Product or Service-Make Expo’s Work for You!

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Why Trade Shows Are Crucial When Introducing A New Product or Service – Make Expo’s Work for You! 

by: Geoff Ficke

Our consumer product marketing and product development group just returned from launching two new products at a large trade show in Bologna, Italy. This was a cosmetic-beauty product show, the largest in the world. There were over 3000 vendors displaying their wares, from the largest brands in the luxury cosmetic space to start-up ventures with virtually no sales history. The show was visited by over 100,000 buyers from 120 countries. 

Our team is a believer in the importance and power of trade show participation. Logistics, planning, budgeting and discipline are crucial in effectively and professionally leveraging participation into a successful outcome. One of the keys to achieving the desired success, even in the most brutally competitive categories such as cosmetics, is for our clients to look larger than they actually are. 

The big boys in any industry have seemingly unlimited resources. Their display is large, imposing, visually overwhelming when compared to a small company just launching. Pre-show and intra-show promotion for internationally recognized brands is ubiquitous. How can the small company compete? 

Our theory is that the real excitement at most trade shows is always found in the creative, entrepreneurial small vendors presenting fresh, innovative new offerings. Our clients are indicative of this type of fearless pioneer. They relish the opportunity to take on the giants and out hustle, out maneuver and out work the old establishment names. 

The two products we introduced to the beauty world last week are totally different in performance and benefits but similar in positioning. One was a skin serum, the other a hair treatment product. There were hundreds of competitive skin and hair care products on display at the Expo, but nothing that approximated our client’s unique usage features. It was interesting and gratifying how often we heard from international customers and distributors that “this is one of the most interesting products we have seen this year”! The fact that our client products were being displayed and compared next to the giant brands only served to differentiate and confirm their uniqueness. 

Trade shows are not cheap to attend. Travel expenses, booth rental, booth display, shipping and customs, sampling and sales collateral are just some of the expenses involved. International shows are even more costly. Nevertheless, the upside payoff is potentially maximized by the immediate exposure a new product receives. In order to prove a product has commercial appeal, you must place the product where decision makers in industry can see, evaluate and confirm, or disapprove the value of the good or service. This happens best at an industry specific trade show. 

We met hundreds of interested customers from over 80 countries last week. Some of the largest retail groups in the world spent time in our display booths. How much is that type of exposure worth to a new brand? More importantly, could an unknown start-up reach this quantity and quality of decision makers in any other venue than a trade show?  

When a new company attempts to reach a buyer, they face barriers to entry. Today, one of the biggest hurdles, and a convenient excuse for inaction, is the internet. Many customers are programmed to accept new product submissions through on-line application only. This is impersonal as well as an abrogation of a buyers true responsibility, which is to look at as many offerings as possible. They can’t buy everything they see, but they should know what is available and freshest and choose their sale inventory from the widest possible universe of products. 

This type of closed and locked door is best overcome on the floor of a trade show. You meet, shake hands, exchange cards, demonstrate and detail your product or service and discuss price, terms and conditions of sale on a personal, face to face, business-like basis with decision makers that attend these trade shows specifically to discover the new and inventive in their industry. It is why you are there. It is why buyers are there. 

In the past year alone we have attended and represented clients in trade shows in the following industries:


Sporting Goods




Gourmet Foods


Natural Foods

House Wares



Pool and Spa


We just committed a luxury Swiss jewelry client for participation in the ultra-exclusive Couture Show at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas this summer. These shows work. For almost 35 years we have experienced the benefits of attending and working trade shows as the single best avenue available to a wide range of clients for launching or expanding their business opportunities. Don’t dismiss the importance and possibilities that this path offers for introducing your product to the widest and most important audience of decision makers.

The Lessons Still to Be Learned from the Great 19th Century Retail Pioneer Frank Woolworth

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

by: Geoff Ficke

The Lessons Still to Be Learned from the Great 19th Century Retail Pioneer Frank Woolworth 

There are many great business icons for us to emulate as we study history and the paths successful entrepreneurs chose as they left their marks on various enterprises. In the world of retailing, the name Sam Walton has become legendary. The Lazarus family created Federated Department stores which included the Bloomingdales, Filene’s, Burdines and Bullock’s groups of stores. JC Penney and Julius Rosenwald (Sears, Roebuck & Co.) built national emporiums that supplied the needs of the middle class. Frank Woolworth is certainly worthy of being included in this pantheon of all-time great retail innovators. 

Almost forgotten today, Frank W. Woolworth not only built the hugely successful 5 & 10 Cent store chain that carried his name, but created a business and sales model that was revolutionary for the 19th century. Woolworth worked as a clerk in a New York state dry goods store as a young man. At the time, fixed pricing was not the norm, barter was common. The young clerk, anxious to open his own store, noticed that as goods aged they were marked down to 5 cents and placed on a table in bulk. Sales of these items always seemed to surge when they hit the mark down table. 

Utilizing $300 he borrowed, Woolworth opened his first dry goods store where every item was marked at 5 cents. The store was almost an instant failure. The young retail rookie was unfazed. He and his brother Charles studied the dismal performance of their first outlet and quickly seized on several business principals that they had not adequately addressed.

The Woolworth brothers regrouped and opened another store in Lancaster, PA. They began to buy goods directly from manufacturers. They studied real estate and traffic to choose a more visible store front location (one of the earliest implementations of the now common adage, “location, location, location!). A key element of their success was to expand their selection of goods and pricing range to include 10 cent merchandise.

These simple strategic changes made their second store an immediate success. They quickly expanded regionally and then nationally. Virtually any town of any size had one or more Woolworth outlets by the early years of the 20th century. 

Frank Woolworth was once asked for the secret of his retail success. His response was, “I am the world’s worst salesman, so I must make it easy for people to buy”.

By applying simple, but novel retailing principles, though revolutionary for the time, this merchant created one of the great retail franchises of all-time and became one of the richest men in the United States. 

By the middle of the 20th century the dime store concept had begun to fade in popularity, supplanted by the growth of large mass merchandise discount chains. The Woolworth name is mostly gone and forgotten, however, the chain lives on today as Foot Locker.  

Frank Woolworth was a great entrepreneur. He devised pricing, merchandising and purchasing models that were innovative. These basic principles of retailing, which seem so ordinary today, are still basic to successful store operations in all sales channels. His example of simplifying and making the purchasing decision much easier for the consumer are excellent examples for aspiring entrepreneurs to follow when developing their business models. Keep it simple!

Duquesa Marketing to Launch Two New Client Beauty Products at Exclusive COSMOPROF Bologna, Italy

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Duquesa Marketing, Inc.


Press Release

For Immediate Release:

March 2, 2011

Contact:  Geoff Ficke


World’s Largest Cosmetic Expo Venue to Host Introduction of L’Espoir™ Hair Re-Growth Inhibitor and StemSational™ Skin Care 

Florence, KY  Alexis Bruning, V.P. of Sales and New Product Development for international Branding and Consumer Product consulting firm Duquesa Marketing, announced today that her Company will launch Beauty Wonders L’Espoir Hair Re-Growth Inhibitor system and Gioello’s StemSational Skin Regeneration Serum at the upcoming COSMOPROF Bologna expo. 

“Duquesa Marketing has been participating in COSMOPROF for over 30 years, since the show began”, said Ms. Bruning. “This is the premiere international beauty product showcase and is the perfect venue for very exclusive brands like Stemsational and L’Espoir to utilize as launch pads and to gain international exposure and distribution deals”. 

“Both L’Espoir and StemSational offer consumers highly specialized, very clinical, important advances in their specific treatment features”, said Nancy Ficke, General Manager of Duquesa Marketing.”The opportunity to unveil these gorgeous products to the finest international retailers and distributors in one show is only possible at COSMOPROF”. 

Duquesa Marketing is an award winning consultancy specializing in Consumer Product Marketing, Branding, Sales, Product Design and Development. The Company has worked with clients, retailers and distributors, both internationally, and in the United States for over 40 years.

Gioello LLC to Launch StemSational™ Skin Regeneration Serum at Upcoming COSMOPROF Bologna, Italy

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Duquesa Marketing, Inc.


Press Release

For Immediate Release

March 2, 2011

Contact:  Geoff Ficke


First Anti-Aging Product Bio-Hydrolyzed from Adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Be Unveiled at World’s Premiere Beauty Product Expo

Santa Monica, CA     Laura Davidson,  SVP of Gioello LLC announced today that her Company’s long awaited introduction of StemSational Skin Regeneration Serum will be presented at the March 18-21, 2011 COSMOPROF in Bologna, Italy. COSMOPROF is considered the apex cosmetic industry trade show in the world.

 “We have been thrilled with the test results, focus groups and clinical proofs that Stemsational has garnered as we perfected the product for the past two years”, said Ms. Davidson. “Our excitement was piqued when the serum was chosen as the skin care category representative in the OSCAR swag bag gifts for the Academy Award nominees this week, and now we have the amazing opportunity to launch the brand at the world’s most exclusive cosmetic industry trade show”. 

“The OSCAR’s gifting was a great coup for a brand new product”, said Geoff Ficke, President of Florence, KY-based Duquesa Marketing, managing consultants for the StemSational project. “COSMOPROF is a different stage, but in the beauty world it is the premiere stage, much like the OSCAR show is for Hollywood. The exposure a new brand like StemSational requires is only available at COSMOPROF”. 

Gioello LLC will announce pricing and unveil a fully constructed, comprehensive web-site to coincide with the international introduction of StemSational at COSMOPROF. Visit to learn more.

Beauty Wonders to Introduce L’Espoir™ Hair Re-Growth Inhibitor System at COSMOPROF, Bologna, Italy

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Duquesa Marketing, Inc.


Press Release

For Immediate Release

March 2, 2011

Contact:  Geoff Ficke


World’s Premiere Beauty Industry Trade Show Ideal Venue to Launch Bio-Hydrolyzed Regimen to Control Unwanted Body Hair Growth 

London, UK  May Serhan, CEO of Beauty Wonders confirmed today that her research Company will introduce the world’s first and finest Herbal, Bio-Hydrolyzed Hair Re-Growth Inhibitor system, L’Espoir, at the March 18-21 COSMOPROF in Bologna, Italy. COSMOPROF is the premiere cosmetic/beauty industry trade show in the world. 

“We have invested heavily in research, testing, focus groups and marketing in preparation for the introduction of L’Espoir”, said Ms. Serhan. “Our marketing partner and consultant Duquesa Marketing has participated in numerous launches at COSMOPROF for over 30 years and we are very excited to be launching at this most important beauty industry expo”. 

“L’Espoir is a true advance over painful spa treatments, hurtful waxing, and topical creams that haven’t worked in eliminating unwanted body hair”, said Alexis Bruning, V.P. of Sales and New Product Development for Florence, KY-based Duquesa Marketing. “COSMOPROF is the best platform for internationally introducing L’Espoir to the beauty trade and addressing what is an international personal care problem”.

 Beauty Wonders will announce pricing and unveil the L’Espoir brands comprehensive web-site to coincide with the opening of COSMOPROF on March 18, 2011. Please visit for more information.