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By: Josh Salés
Posted: September 4, 2009, from the September 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.
Ron Robinson

Ron Robinson, Founder,

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The site and advice, too, goes beyond simply weeding out “bad” products. Robinson, who had worked to create many products and concepts throughout his career, noticed that even products that were clearly high quality, with substantiated claims and a track record of consumers satisfied with the results were “adding to the confusion.” What tools were available to a consumer for her to determine the difference between a product on the shelf and the one right next to it? To the uninformed consumer, none. This education focus became a major impetus for the creation of—to become a straightforward aid for consumers to narrow-in on the products through the endorsement of others.

But are brand owners ready to accept consumer-driven insights and apply them adequately to both marketing and product development? Robinson believes they are, and it may very much change the way beauty products are marketed and restructure the product landscape. And it’s not just the marketing and positioning of products that consumers now impact. Consumer-driven insights are affecting the earliest stages of product development—providing clues to trends and changing habits earlier than ever and revealing previously unforeseen consumer concerns and wants that may spark the creation of a completely new product type. “The information that can be gleaned from these conversations offers a tremendous advantage,” concludes Robinson.