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Audyn E. O’Rourke

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well That, for all they care, I can go to hell, But on earth indifference is the least We have to dread from man or beast. How should we like it were stars to burn With a passion for us we could not return? If equal affection cannot be, Let the more loving one be me. Admirer as I think I am Of stars that do not give a damn, I cannot, now I see them, say I missed one terribly all day. Were all stars to disappear or die, I should learn to look at an empty sky And feel its total dark sublime, Though this might take me a little time.

The More Loving One W.H.Auden

556 Icehouse Court Manakin Sabot, VA 23103

Audyn E. O’Rourke


EMPLOYMENT 2003 – 2007 Thomas Ashfield, Inc., Richmond, Virginia. Manager. Buyer. Family-owned, contemporary, women’s fashion retailer. Recruit and train associates in operations and textile knowledge. Manage inventory to track sales trends and anticipate future assortment needs. Develop markdown strategies. Maintain client database to build relationships with clientele. Promote and execute special events. Communicate merchandising stories through window design. Attend markets, manage ordering process and maintain relationships with vendors. Design print advertisements and manage media placements. 1996 -2003 Thomas Ashfield, Inc., Charlottesville, Virginia. Sales Associate. Assisted clientele with personal and professional styling. Preformed financial transactions and managed financial closing procedures. Developed floor displays. Managed shipping operations. 2001

The Boar's Head Inn, Charlottesville, Virginia. Server. Resort restaurant awarded an AAA Four Diamond Award for fine dining 21 years in a row. Operated bar and light fare service in lounge and on veranda.

EDUCATION 2007 - Present Brandcenter, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia Master’s Candidate, M.S. Mass Communications, Creative Brand Management Accounting, Qualitative & Quantitative Research, Media Planning, Strategic Brand Concepts Current G.P.A. 3.769 1999 - 2003 University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia B.A. Double Major, Economics, Art History PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia Web Design and Development Sotheby's Institute of Art, London, England Art Business Lorenzo De'Medici, Florence, Italy Art History, Italian, Photography LANGUAGES English: native language Italian: speaking proficiency, reading proficiency

Spanish: reading proficiency Latin: reading proficiency

COMPUTER SKILLS MS Office Professional: Excel, Power Point, Word Web Design: HTML, Dreamweaver 8

Adobe: PhotoShop, InDesign, Illustrator Mac iWork: Keynote, Pages, Numbers

INTERESTS & ACTIVITIES Rowing: U.V.A. Women's Varsity Crew, U.V.A. Men's Club Crew - Coxswain, Rivanna Rowing Club Classical Voice, Virginia Consort Chorale Photography, Running

Creative Strategy Sampling




written by Audyn O’Rourke

The Fondue Set Product Re-Introduction


Situation Fondue originated in Switzerland centuries ago. There, bread and cheese were made during the summer months, then preserved to last throughout the winter. During the winter the cheese was combined with wine and melted within a pot, allowing the hardened bread to once again become edible after being dipped into the warm sauce. Years later, during the 1960’s, this method of food preparation made a comeback and enjoyed a strong presence in popular culture. Communal dining became the party theme de jour, and nearly every hostess in America was proud to have her own fondue set with which to entertain. For a period of time, the manufacturers of fondue sets enjoyed lofty success. However, soon after this cultural phenomenon took hold of the Nation, the trend, like all others, reached a point of saturation and rapidly product sales fell into decline.

Challenge We were tasked to re-introduce the fondue set back into popular culture by offering a new use for the product, improving the product, or combining it with another product to form an entirely new creation. Important to the future success of the product, we examined the ways in which the culture and technology have changed since the past. The previous consumer lifestyle the product once catered to, now no longer exists. The modern hostess leads a busy life and as Bob Johnston, president of The Melting Pot restaurant said himself, “Doing fondue at home is pretty tedious work.”

Consumer To determine were fondue sets would enjoy future success, we examined the lifestyle and purchasing habits of the modern hostess. We found that she tends to be a single or newlywed, young-professional woman who has recently moved into a new home or apartment. She enjoys entertaining in her home and seeks new ways to impress her guests. She desires an aesthetically appealing home decor, is willing to pay a premium for quality and design. A woman between the ages of 22 and 39, with an average household income of $44,000, we found through market research that this modern hostess was interestingly 95% more likely than the average person to purchase a board game with which to entertain.

2 Idea Through research into fondue’s previous role in society, combined with a detailed synopsis of the modern hostess, we reintroduced the fondue set by placing the product within an entirely new context: that of a culturally relevant board game. Targeting the modern hostess, we created an innovative means of entertaining while providing an educational benefit to the players. Combining the traditional hardware of the fondue set with a new array of accessories, the game becomes a way look at food from a different perspective. The game infuses fondue with a little fun, recreating the communal framework but taking food out of its physical state. Poking fun at the role of food within society, the game tests a player’s knowledge of it in areas of history, pop culture, etiquette and preparation.

A uniquely entertaining game to perfectly compliment the modern dinner party.






Promotion Trade PUSH

Retailers The game will be sold through retailers with which the modern hostess will shop with while decorating her home or preparing for an evening of entertaining. In home furnishing stores such as Crate & Barrel, the game would be merchandised along with martini shakers and bar supplies, while also shown on coffee tables within the setting of the furniture displays. In upscale grocers, it would be merchandised with the store’s wine selection. It would also be featured at common places to buy gifts such as Barnes & Noble and Red Envelope.

Buyers In order to drive awareness of the game amongst these retailers, a gift would be sent to their relative buyers prior to an upcoming trade show. The gift would serve as a survival kit for the modern hostess, including a mini shaker, decorative napkins, a music mix and chocolate covered strawberries signaling the connection of the game to its origins. All of these ingredients of the perfect dinner party would be branded with the name and packaged within a signature tin.



Try it. Buy it.

The key to selling the game is getting the buyer to try it. This is true for the sale of the game to both the trade and the consumer. To be able to truly understand the draw for the final consumer, the buyer needs to be a part of the fun and witness the communal experience which evolves in playing the game. In order to facilitate this experience for the buyer, a modern dinner party will be thrown at the trade show providing the opportunity for the buyer to relax, have some fun, and fall in love with .

Sell it.

the buyer In-Store In order to push the product at the store level, will parter with TLC’s Take Home Chef, Curtis Stone. He will serve as a spokesman for the game and will attend in-store events to promote and drive awareness of the game on the consumer level. This partnership will create instant credibility with the consumer audience and subsequently serve as added incentive for retailers to carry the product within their stores.



Promotion Consumer PULL

Recommendation We will talk to our modern hostess through her most trusted sources. Press kits will be sent to her favorite magazines, such as In-Style, in order to increase the appearance of within editorial sections that feature the hottest new products for the season and for entertaining. The product will also be placed within her favorite television shows such as Cashmere Mafia and A Modern Girls Guide to Life. The goal of these actions is to drive awareness and highlight the game within current culture.

Party Must Haves

Trial To fall in love with , the consumer must play the game and experience the fun for herself. While she will may be exposed to the game during a party hosted by a friend, we will increase the chance of this exposure and drive trial by partnering with the upscale cafe chain, Cosi. The game will be made available for play and purchase at the hundreds of Cosi locations nationwide. Additionally, branded cocktail napkins will be provided to the chain, printed with a question from the game to drive interest, conversation and further trial.

Community The game, like the original Swiss experience of coming together over a pot of fondue, is one that evokes a communal spirit. To promote this emotional benefit and at the same time drive awareness of the game, will create an online community through its namesake website. At the site, the consumer can find party tips, share recipes and learn how to be the quintessential modern hostess. Additionally the site will partner with Evite so that the consumer may plan her own party and send out a specially branded announcement to her guests.


This game is the perfect gift for any hostess to be. To increase sales of the game as gifts, press kits will be sent to sites that focus on events such as weddings, housewarmings and other parties. Additionally, to generate reach, a special gift will be sent to talk television programs such as Oprah, Tyra, Today and Live with Regis and Kelly. This gift will include the game, the perfect party survival kit and a pitch to produce a segment on the modern hostess of today, featuring .

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Competitive Store Check Planogram

Challenge As brand managers for Wal-Mart, we were charged to create a planogram for the oil and vinegar sections of our client, Wal-Mart, and the competing grocer, Fresh Market, located across the street. To do this, we visited both stores, studied the layout of the isles and observed differences between the isle composition of each store.

Observations While creating the planograms for both stores, we noticed two major differentiating factors. First that our client, Wal-Mart, had excessive facings of the same product, with 25 linear feet of Great Value Product alone. Next that Fresh Market was able to include more higher margin products into fewer linear feet by cutting down on the number of facings per each SKU.

Results Market data indicates the increased entry of specialty grocers into the market and their subsequent gain in market share. The retail implications of our observations, combined with these current business dynamics, pointed to one dominant recommendation to increase sales margins for our client, Wal-Mart, within the oil and vinegar sections. Cut back the number of facings per product on the basic goods and increase specialty product carried in order to meet demand.


Fresh Market


Vinegar Comparison

Oil Comparison


Fresh Market


Fresh Market

(24’ Shelves)

(24’ Shelves)

(80’ Shelves)

(24’ Shelves)

32 SKUs

47 SKUs

77 SKUs

68 SKUs

7 Brands

23 Brands

17 Brands

37 Brands

Wal-Mart Vinegar

Wal-Mart Oil

Coty Cosmetics

A New Fragrance Concept


Coty Cosmetics, a leader in the fragrance industry is looking for a new perfume to add to their portfolio. We were asked to create a concept that embodied the brand and their relationship with the target, while standing apart in a market landscape awash with look-alike alternatives.


Create a perfume that connects to a woman on a an emotional level and relates to her core values. Target the woman who is turning away from heightened materialism and the “masstige” trend. Give her an added incentive to buy a product, pairing her purchase with a cause.


More Mary Ann than Ginger, she values beauty for beauty’s sake. She doesn’t feel the need to defend her chic, yet casual approach to style. She reads popular fashion magazines, but isn’t consumed by status or portraying an image of prestige. While socially aware, she’s not an activist. She does her small part to reduce her carbon footprint, but wouldn’t consider herself “green.” She is more inclined to shop at retailers that support a cause like campaign (RED). She is always willing to give her time and energy to her closest friends.

natural generous grounded self-aware

well “beauty fused with karma together make her world well”

the inspiration

“well” combines the compassionate and effervescent spirit of the Africa’s beloved water goddess Oshun, with that of the genuine and outgoing female of today. The perfume is breathtakingly gentile, inspired and fresh. The scent exemplifies vitality with the life giving element water at its core. Like the dew that blesses a new day, “well” is the touch that evokes from a waking beauty, her radiant, natural glow

the concept

This refreshing fragrance represents a woman with a passion for people and passion for life. It melds with her senses to inspire a renewed energy and an uninhibited spirit. Like the celestial mermaid Oshun, she is delicate, charming and embodies an ever flowing joy. She wishes to soothe the world and promote self-love, and through her actions every day strives to be a better version of her natural self. “well” is a sprinkle of celestial water from the goddess Oshun. The scent is carried as a reminder to be present, be true to self and to be aware of the potential that beauty and spirit have in affecting the world. Live well. Be well. Give well. With water at the heart of the fragrance and serving as the foundation for beauty and life, it is only natural that a portion of this product’s proceeds should flow back home. With each purchase, a contribution will be made to Water for Life, providing clean drinking water for all of Oshun’s children to drink well.

the name

“well” represents the greatest of intentions and the importance of their final realization. It is sincere, inspiring and impact full. It motivates women to take pride in the feminine beauty they have been blessed with, and also in their ability spread true well-being throughout the world.

the bottle

The purest source of water. The purest of blues. The purest of intentions. The bottle is the feminine ideal of the fountain of life, reaching deep into the center of the earth and drawing from a pool of blessed water below.

the packaging

Inspired by beauty and inspired by a call to arms. The packing of “well” narrows in on both an earnest personal desire and an essential public need. The purest blue enchants the eye, while the candid copy speaks to the soul.


Burt’s Bees

Men’s Line Extension Launch


Burt’s Bees, an all natural skin care brand, has gained a strong niche following in health food retailers nationwide. With previous sales volumes dominated by women, the brand moving forward is in late development stages of a line extension targeted towards men. To introduce the product and gain profitability, the Burt’s Bees men’s line must be launched into the mass market. While a risk to enter terrain dominated by established, giant competitors, the launch into the mass market could potentially reap huge rewards by positioning Burt’s Bees as the leader of the natural skin care category within the mainstream landscape.


Men purchasing products within the mass market are not readily willing to switch from their current products that they already feel get the job done. Additionally they are skeptical of natural products and are hard pressed to pay more for a skin care product that produces no visibly additional benefit. We were tasked to dive into the male psyche and find what personal trigger would make a man pay a premium price for a natural product.



Team Survey

Target Research

Consumer Perceptions Consumer Behavior

Simmons Market Research Product Research

Consumer Analysis

Euromonitor International

Store Visits


To find the male consumer target that would most benefit from the introduction of the Burt’s Bees men’s line, we went back to the roots of the company and examined the women who had fallen in love with the Burt’s Bees line during its inception. We studied the segmentation of these women into the levels to which they focused upon their health, then studied male behavior to search for any similarities. Coincidentally, we found that the male population broke down in a similar fashion, segmenting by the choices they regularly made in regards to their eating habits and exercise routines.

Mintel Premier Report

Expert Interviews

Trade Journals

- Business Owners


- Wellness Consumers 1-on-1 Consumer Interviews

Consumer Reports Cultural Research

Day-in-the-life Studies

Man-on-the-street Interviews

Shop-along Interviews

Men’s Health Magazine

Conversations in Online Forum


Bacon Burger Guy Recent Convert

True Believer


Turkey on Rye Guy

Vegan Tofu Guy

= Positioning Cleansing without chemicals. The natural alternative in men’s grooming that cares. What you do for your body effects how you feel. You’ve realized your health matters; wise up about your skin care. Caring. Independent. Smart. Honest. Fun.


We are 100% natural: our products are created with interesting combinations of proven-effective, natural ingredients.

What we are:

Chamomile, Calendula, Linden, Aloe, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Honey, Coconut and Sunflower Oils…all with specific benefits

What we aren’t:

Para bins, harmful excess chemicals


These men have reached a point in their lives where they realized they’re not invincible; they are taking care of their bodies because it affects how they feel today and how they will feel in the future.


Through our research we found the “Turkey on Rye Guy” to have the greatest potential benefit from our product. This is a male who take pride in his body and consciously makes choices to eat well and exercise regularly. Though not health obsessed, he considers his health in nearly every food purchase he makes. By drawing a parallel between the harmful substances he avoids putting into his body, and the harmful ingredients in chemically engineered products that he uses on his skin, we were able to find the connective tissue between the target and his potential interest in a natural skin care alternative.

Our Target

Bacon Burger Guy

Turkey on Rye Guy

Vegan Tofu Guy

Roy Lichtenstein

Thank you for your time.




556 Icehouse Court Manakin Sabot, Virginia 23103

Audyn E. O’Rourke




556 Icehouse Court Manakin Sabot, Virginia 23103


Selected First Year Work


Selected First Year Work