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Archive for April 22nd, 2012

Duquesa Marketing Client Invited to Enter Products in ICMAD International Product Design Competition

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

Press Release

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Geoff Ficke


Duquesa Marketing Client Invited to Enter Products in ICMAD International Product Design Competition

3 Sisters Restorasis™ Skin Therapy to Contend for Prestigious Cosmetic Industry Award to Be Announced in New York City, June 20, 2012

Florence, KY   Geoff Ficke, President of international award winning Consumer Product Development and Branding Consulting firm Duquesa Marketing announced today that his group has been advised by the Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors (ICMAD) that 3 Sisters Restorasis has been selected to participate in the trade associations
prestigious International Product Design Competition.

“3 Sisters Restorasis is an example of a serious Medical Aesthetic skin therapy regimen that blends stunning product performance with elegantly simple packaging”, said Mr. Ficke. “The ICMAD award competition is so very selective so it is always a thrill to have your work recognized by peers”.

“Duquesa Marketing has done a very professional, innovative job of creating a product design that co-mingles the advanced science of 3 Sisters Restorasis and a sleek, contemporary visual presentation that supports the brand”, said Jeanne O’Connell MD, founder and President of Frederick, MD based Restorasis Essentials LLC. “We are thrilled with the market response to the products performance and the Branding visuals”.

“ICMAD is a trade association which represents and supports the hundreds of independent Beauty product marketers that provide so much of the creativity endemic in the Cosmetic
and Toiletry industry world-wide”, said Alexis Bruning, V.P. of New Product Development for Duquesa Marketing. “Their annual product design competition is an apex event in the cosmetic world”.


The 5 Essential Personal Traits Needed to Become a Successful Entrepreneur

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

by: Geoff Ficke

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

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


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


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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


The Most Useful Funding Technique for Funding a Business Startup Is the Oldest: Bootstrapping

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

by: Geoff Ficke

The Most Useful Funding Technique for Funding a Business Startup Is the Oldest: Bootstrapping

My Consumer Product Development and Marketing Consulting firm is approached almost daily by entrepreneurs seeking to launch a new enterprise. For many of these aspiring business owners their primary concern is the funding requirements they believe will be required to enable execution of a proper launch. Many assume they need to raise funding from angel investors, venture capital or banking sources. Very few will succeed by taking this path.

Capital is extremely selective in placing highly prized investments in untried startup businesses, run by anything less than experienced entrepreneurs. It rarely happens. The expectations of professional investment sources is simply too difficult for most novices to be able to satisfy steep requirements for Return on Investment,  Use of Funds, Professional Management Teams or First Mover Advantage.

When we explain to first time seekers of capital the complexities and difficulties that they will face in successfully securing a funding round, we almost always are confronted by resignation. The inevitable query we hear is, “Well, how do you get started”? There are many options but the simplest, and oldest is the concept of “bootstrapping”.

Bootstrapping is simply self-funding. Some of the greatest successes in the history of business were self-funded by Bootstrapping. The most famous is MicroSoft, followed closely by Hewlett Packard. Leslie Wexner launched The Limited in Columbus, OH in the 1960’s by bootstrapping a single dress shop in a strip mall. Estee Lauder created the world’s most successful Cosmetic brand at her kitchen table in the Bronx. King Gillette did much the same in the 1890’s when he launched his eponymous shaving brand. There are hundreds of publicly traded companies around the world that were nurtured to life initially by bootstrapping.

The beauty of not accepting, or seeking an equity investment partner is obvious: There is no partner to share ownership and the necessity to hit performance marks required to obtain funding is eliminated.

True, bootstrapping can hinder the rapidity of growth. But the process of bootstrapping demands discipline and enforces controls on spending that become part of the DNA of the firm as growth occurs. Expenditures are weighed and considered before very dear capital is committed.

The three Magi were bootstrapping incense merchants. Every pioneering farmer or blacksmith was initially a bootstrapping business person. Your insurance agent, realtor, most salesmen, lawyers, shop owners or artisans are bootstrapping for their income. To the extent that capital is required to open a restaurant, coffee shop, day spa, sales agency, franchise a business or set up a landscaping firm the funding required to be able to bootstrap these opportunities comes from friends, family or personal savings.

The Venture Capital community has a well-known phrase to describe the source of seed funding: “Startup monies come from Friends, Family and Fools”. Money flows easily to new, novel business concepts, but only after there is a confirmation of a proof of concept and sales traction is demonstrated.

Bootstrapping is not glamorous. It requires total commitment and focus. Fancy offices, fresh cut flowers in the reception area, expense account lunches and leased luxury automobiles are not line budget expense items for bootstrapping Companies. Credit cards may need to be tapped. Home equity utilized. Aunt Jane approached for a loan. If the entrepreneur is driven, there is nothing that will deny them the opportunity to convert their concept in to a going concern. Bootstrapping is the simplest, oldest, and in most instances, the only strategy available to start a new business.

3 Sisters Restorasis™ Announces Participation in Upcoming HBA Splash Beauty Product Show

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

Press Release

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Geoff Ficke


3  Sisters Restorasis™ Announces Participation in Upcoming HBA Splash Beauty Product Show

Hydro-BioMimetic Skin Repair Complex to Be Displayed for First Time in USA at Stand 1556-CB, Javits Center, June 19-21, 2012

Frederick, MD Jeanne O’Connell MD announced today that her Medical Aesthetic Skin Repair Complex, 3 Sisters Restorasis, will be presented in the American market for the first time at the upcoming HBA Splash Cosmetic Industry trade show in New York City.

“We introduced 3 Sisters Restorasis in October 2011 at Cosmoprof Hong Kong and were gratified with the response the line received from international distributors”, said Dr. ’Connell. “Based on our initial success we are eager to present this Medical Aesthetic line to the North American market”.

“Dr. O’Connell and her sisters Meg Comer and Kateri Delaney developed the Skin Repair Complex at their very popular Wellness Clinic”, said Nancy Ficke, General Manager of Florence, KY based DuquesaMarketing, managing consultants for the project. “This is serious dermal care that has been perfected after being used to treat hundreds of their patients with amazing results”.

“3 Sisters Restorasis is a breakthrough Hydro-BioMimetic technology that creates a self-sterilizing lipid complex”, said Kateri Delaney RN. “The formulary represents a revolutionary co-mingling of natural elements and cutting edge science that provides a 100% organic solution that addresses a wide range of dermal maladies”.