ABOUT UTOPIA ENTERPRISES. Inventor Eric Williams turned a lost, sunken fishing rod into a profitable product with his innovative idea for a fishing rod float. Eric partnered with friend and venture capitalist, Trasey Green, and together got to work producing 500 prototype models made to their specifications. They canvassed local fishing spots and within a few short weeks, they sold their entire inventory to fishing lovers in the Kansas City, Missouri area. Armed with a great product they proved they could sell, they patented the design, then found partners to manufacture the finished products. Today, they are selling their Thatzakeeper! fishing rod floats to fishermen everywhere.
THE CHALLENGE. Having proven their product concept and set up their manufacturing partnerships, the next steps for Utopia were developing a solid brand then building an eCommerce website to promote and sell their product to the general public. They needed to better define their target markets and understand their potential customer base, and they needed help on how to position their product against competition in the marketplace. They needed expert help to do the job right.
MEP CENTER’S ROLE. Utopia found Missouri Enterprise online and reached out to them for guidance. Missouri Enterprise’s area business manager and project managers developed a plan to help Utopia Enterprises develop a strong brand and website to sell their products. The process began with a competitive assessment to understand the marketplace and how competitors were promoting their products, and to identify the features, benefits and unique advantages of Utopia’s product. Next came the development of a new brand name, where the Thatzakeeper! name was born, followed by a professionally designed logo and brand messaging including the “What a Catch!” tagline. With the brand concept fledged out, Missouri Enterprise’s website developers built and launched an eCommerce website where customers could learn about the products and make purchases directly online.
“We hit some brick walls we couldn’t handle until we found Missouri Enterprise. They brainstormed ideas with us and they were patient as they helped us get our business up and running with a logo and branding and a website. Now we’re selling product around the country in states like Texas, Kansas, Missouri and more. We knew right from the beginning these guys weren’t just here for a paycheck – they really cared and helped us succeed.” Eric Willams, Partner
“Missouri Enterprise’s people were wonderful, and everything they worked on was exceptionally well done. We came to Missouri Enterprise for help with our business and left feeling like we’d found a new family of friends we could count on for help when we need it. We’ll be counting on them again as we continue to grow.” Trasey Green, Partner
- Averaging 10% monthly growth since product launch
- 2 new jobs created