The biggest challenge small entrepreneurs face when introducing new products to the market is acceptance, according to Barrie Stefel, president and founder of Shark Skinzz. “It’s never easy being a pioneer,” he notes. “You don’t have millions to spend on brand recognition and marketing.”

So, five years ago, when Stefel came up with a concept for portable, foldable containers that would be an alternative to rigid liquid containers, he knew he had to persevere and push to make the market take notice. Stefel also made sure he had a unique product. “When we started making our pouches, nobody was doing it,” he says. “We spent a lot of time on research of the materials, making sure they’re food-grade safe, ensuring all the components fit properly so the customer wouldn’t have any issues and adding four layers of film to the liner of the pouches. The fourth layer is a UV-blocking film that extends the life of the beverages.  Then we backed it all up with certification.”

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In less than two years since its formation, The Brand Liaison has established itself as a premier provider of boutique licensing, brand extension and brand management services. “In a very short period, we’ve started to cast a very big shadow by assembling a strong collection of clients and reputable brands,” says founder and President Steven W. Heller.

A veteran of licensing and brand development with 20 years of licensing experience, Heller started the New York – Miami-based company with several “liaisons” who also have extensive experience in licensing projects. He notes that the team’s collective experience includes work with leading apparel brands such as Van Heusen and Gloria Vanderbilt, as well as work with Disney, the NFL, Converse and many other brands.

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Cause marketing is a powerful retail incentive, and it is one that the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), the first animal welfare organization in North America, expertly utilizes to support its mission. Recently, the organization has started working on a number of fronts to support its mission of protecting the welfare of animals through a variety of national programs including anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services.

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Not many firms could say that they are stronger than ever after nearly 170 years of business, but Church & Dwight Co. Inc. certainly can. The Ewing, N.J.-based company not only is a consumer packaged goods leader in the United States, but it also manufactures household and personal care items used in 115 other countries.

Director of Licensing Tammy Talerico says Church & Dwight has several “power brands” that keep it growing strong. These include OxiClean laundry additives, Trojan condoms, Spinbrush battery-powered toothbrushes, Nair hair-removal products, First Response pregnancy kits, XTRA value laundry detergents and Orajel oral pain relief products.

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The evolution of Nicole Richie has taken place in full view of the prying public eye. The fashion icon has come a long way since she burst onto the scene in the reality TV show “The Simple Life” in 2003. Over the past decade, Richie has grown from a tabloid staple into the driving force behind several fashion labels, and she has served as a mentor on NBC’s “Fashion Star” since the show debuted in March 2012.

Today, Richie’s fashion labels continue to grow. Launched in 2008, House of Harlow 1960 is her accessories line and includes jewelry, shoes, eyewear and bags. Winter Kate is her mid-priced bohemian casualwear brand, and it debuted in 2010. Each is designed to appeal to women with fashion sense that is both vintage and modern, and they can be worn in any environment and still convey confidence and style.

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More than a hands-on designer, each new stage of Jessica Simpson’s life is reflected in her fashion collection, and during the past year, her experiences have been truly life-changing. These milestones have included motherhood to daughter Maxwell Drew, born in May, and a second child due this summer, the growth of her eponymous fashion collection and a second season as a fashion mentor for up-and-coming designers on NBC/Universal’s hit reality show, “Fashion Star.”

Read more: The Camuto Group - The Jessica Simpson Collection

Ever since their first appearance in a comic book created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird in 1984, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) have become a worldwide phenomenon seen in practically every available medium and product form. After more than 350 half-hours of television, four live-action and animated films and one of the top 10 bestselling action figure and toy lines of all time, the Turtles show no signs of slowing down even as tastes and technology have changed greatly during their 29 years.

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Great stories live forever. Anyone who doubts that needs to look no further than the classic tales of “The Jungle Book.” A collection of stories featuring Mowgli’s adventures with his jungle animal friends – written in the 1890s by Rudyard Kipling and famously retold through Disney’s eyes in 1967 – has been resurrected once again in a new 3-D CGI animated television series airing in more than 165 countries. The first season of 52 11-minute episodes and a 60-minute made-for-TV movie, “Rumble in the Jungle,” were developed by India-based DQ Entertainment (DQE) and began airing in 2010. It was brought to North America in 2011 at the hands of North American brand rights owner, SMC Entertainment Group Inc. (SMC).

Read more: SMC Entertainment Group Inc.