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Time for a Fresh POV

By: Alisa Marie Beyer and Kate Helfrich
Posted: June 1, 2012, from the June 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

While it’s true that blockbuster beauty products may take a while to develop, this process doesn’t need to be overly complicated or copycat what’s already been done. Great product development requires dreaming like a child, thinking like a poet and risking big returns like an entrepreneur. With the right mix of ingredients, the right emotional pull and the right foundation of unbeatable claims to bring it all together, new beauty products can hit all the critical development markers necessary to become the next big beauty breakthrough that seamlessly transforms into a beauty icon.

The era of your grandmother slathering on cold cream may be a charming memory, but the innovation that turned her cold cream into the beauty icon it remains to this day is alive and well. And while compelling storytelling, true product innovation, impressive product claims and noteworthy packaging design are important elements to launching a successful new beauty product, today it’s no longer safe to presume that having a pretty box design, exotic ingredient, celebrity endorsement or even secured distribution is going to turn your idea into the beauty icon it must be to succeed.

Today, newbie beauty brands—and frankly, the big players too—have to look ahead on the innovation road and see their end result (a great product), as well as look behind at all of the consumer-driven touchpoints along the way that lead to five-star products. These touchpoints are critical to hit, disastrous to miss and are sometimes embarrassingly easy to overlook. If you want your product to stand out, stand up and stand over everyone else both in-market and in your target consumer’s mind, it’s time to hang a left for a refreshed POV on the product development for your brand.

What Your Product Will—and Won’t—Do

Today, you still have to think about the obvious strategies—what you want the product to do (treat acne, minimize fine lines, shrink pores, etc.) However, you also have to think about the not-so-obvious strategies—what do you not want your product to do (follow in the footsteps of anyone else, hit the shelves with an ingredient story or technology already being touted by other brands, or offer consumer claims that trail the competition.)

What functional benefits is your target consumer really going to be looking for from this product? Deliver on those, and that consumer will become a loyal one.

Don’t Claim to Be Everything … Unless You’re Going to Deliver