Lipenwald in the News

(Article first published by "Westfair online"; © Copyright Westfair Business Publications.)

Ideas in the palm of your hand

By: Ryan Doran, Jan 29, 2010

Michael Weinstein, Chief Internet Officer

Lipenwald Inc., in Norwalk, CT, is in the business of removing ideas from the abstract and the too expensive and placing them in consumer hands.

The family-owned company, which began in print media more than 30 years ago, has grown into a multimillion-dollar business with thousands of products.

Lipenwald, via direct-response, markets consumer products through the Internet, catalogs, direct mail, television and retail. It offers products ranging from die-cast collectibles and horticulture to cosmetics and general merchandise. Brands include the National Motor Museum Mint, The New England Mint, and Gardeners' Choice.

Michael Weinstein, Chief Internet Officer of Lipenwald, said the company is always looking for affordable, quality products that solve a common problem.

"From household solutions, toys and outdoor products to cosmetics, car products, garden items, and anything else that either saves you money, makes your life easier, or ideally does both," said Weinstein.

"Lipenwald doesn't just take a developer's product and push its sales, but more often than not, develops the idea all the way through the manufacturing, marketing and distribution process," said Weinstein. "Lipenwald can turn an idea into a reality." 

Products and ideas are most commonly found at conventions, created internally or submitted to the company through its website, www.Lipenwald.com.

"As the company evolved, we began offering products on television," said Weinstein. "The Internet has become a huge source of contact for us; we have hundreds of websites with thousands of products that get thousands of visitors on a daily basis."

Weinstein said Lipenwald products, especially collectibles, are talked about on social media forums and online discussion boards and demonstrations even watched on video streaming websites. "It's the ability to access people," said Weinstein.

Weinstein said the economy hasn't had much effect on business because the products are typically affordable. "What we market generally saves people money," said Weinstein.

Weinstein said that as the as-seen-on-TV shows and stores that cater to such items have become more popular, Lipenwald actually saw a boost in profits and submissions.

"Typically, they are as-seen-on-TV types of products," said Weinstein. "That would constitute one area of our business; we also have a business that creates and markets die-cast collectible cars, as well as, a horticulture business, a collectible coin business, and many other areas of focus. We're always open to new ideas and constantly looking to expand our product offerings."

The die-cast car business was started, as was much of the business at Lipenwald, when the employees saw a need for a reasonably priced version of a product currently on the market.

"There are a number of die-cast car companies out there and many of them sell products for hundreds of dollars," said Weinstein. "We saw an opportunity." 

Weinstein said the 60 employees that work at Lipenwald also have learned to trust their own judgment as consumers.

"We're all consumers ourselves, so we think of something that we find to be an everyday problem and look for a way to solve that affordably," said Weinstein. "We're always out looking; it can really come from anywhere. We have a product team and we're constantly out scouting for products. What people should think about, is 'does this solve a problem, is this something that saves me money, is it going to make life easier.' That's really the key; the product benefits should be very obvious." 

Weinstein said Lipenwald does not usually engage traditional focus groups for new products because it is hard to match demographics with particular products in specific areas.

The company also makes items for historically significant events. "One of our most recent successful products was the Obama coin," said Weinstein. Upon President Barack Obama's election, Lipenwald began offering collectible coins with the newly elected president featured upon it.

"We attempt to come up with products that we think are affordable, are good quality and have mass market potential," said Weinstein.


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