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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.

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Have you tried using your product as intended? Have you followed the instructions and used it as you want and expect your consumer to use it? If not, it’s time to take a few moments to get into consumer mode. Not just from a results perspective, but a time and sensory perspective. Just like you, consumers are busy. If you are asking consumers to take four minutes out of their day to make time for your product and you yourself haven’t done the same, an important part of your ownable product space just fizzled out before your idea even took off. Don’t just go through the motions—go through their motions.

Test … and Test Again

Testing your product with the right, targeted consumer is critical no matter who you are. Premarket testing, designed to get your nearly finished product formula into your target consumer’s hands, is like a sleepover for your product idea. The consumer will try your formulas, tell you their thoughts, and let you know what’s already right about your product, as well as what needs some attention.

Equally as important is market-ready testing. Once your product has reached the finished goods stage, you need to get it into the consumer’s hands again. Send consumers home to use it for four weeks and have them evaluate every aspect of their experience. Did they see results? Awesome. If not, now’s your chance to optimize, optimize and optimize some more before launch.

About the Bandwagon

Don’t be afraid to occasionally hop on the bandwagon. (Seriously.) There’s a reason the beauty bandwagon is a fun place to be—it’s where products pulse and trends take shape. Pay attention to what bloggers are buzzing about and what types of products are starting to hit the mainstream, and then get busy.

Certain beauty innovations (such as beauty balms) set trends and stay hugely popular with consumers, and absolutely should be explored by beauty start-ups. Many new brands enjoy a speed-to-market advantage over established brands, which means if you can get onboard with a trend in only a few months, it’s worth a shot to become a quick consumer favorite while consumers are still obsessed with the trend.