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The Beauty Business is Not for Sissies

By: Alisa Marie Beyer
Posted: April 4, 2012, from the April 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.
TBC's Beauty Product Development Life Cycle chart

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Where a more methodic, logical approach is needed when setting budgets and researching competition, at this stage, your wildest desires, dreams and development ideas should be encouraged to run free as you build and develop your brand positioning story and platform, mood boards, logos and icons, usage guidelines and all creative photography, among your other consumer-facing collateral. Product development also gets underway at this point, meaning you will need to begin evaluating your portfolio, choosing product profiles and benchmarks, selecting a formulator and identifying all necessary industry testing protocols that must be completed before manufacturing and fulfillment can occur.

With so many moving parts, the plan and design phases are a critical time for a new beauty brand, which is why following a method proven to help you meet objectives is crucial.


Roughly midway between kickoff and project wrap is the build phase of the Beauty Product Development Life Cycle. This phase is the exciting moment when your vision, planning and designing start to take on a physical shape and personality.

By now, brand elements such as the identity, stories, color palettes, logos and nearly all other creative assets should be finalized or well on their way, allowing brand managers to move on to the more concrete, physical elements of the brand—packaging copy, websites, user guides, brand books, social media pages and retailer kits. Additionally, now is the time to start package sourcing, package design and production, as well as the manufacturing of the actual product and the creation of finished goods.

A third pivotal element to the build phase is consumer trial groups. These groups give your target consumer a first look at the nearly finished product, allowing them to give you vital feedback on the formula, the look, the feel and the smell before anything is finalized. Perhaps most importantly, the point of these trial groups is to get market-ready product claims, which are basically a required point of entry for most beauty categories today.

Deliver and Operate