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The Necessity of Testing in New Product Development

By: Chris McLeod
Posted: May 31, 2013, from the June 2013 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Now imagine Company Z’s budget could not incorporate $150,000 for testing at this stage, and thus, all the time, effort and enthusiasm for this project would have been in vain because the budget will not stretch to substantiating the one necessary claim that has directed the whole project. In the majority of cases, Company Z will have to go back to the drawing board.

The reason for this price is as follows: Each separate SKU has to be individually tested, even if a formulation differs by only a 0.5% fragrance or preservative level because of the need for individual product information files for each product. Plus, “anti-aging” is a complex claim that needs the analysis of wrinkle reduction, moisturization levels, skin elasticity and skin tone/hyperpigmentation, which all require different instrumental assessments, study protocols and volunteer panels.

Know Your Testing Needs

The necessity and importance of contacting a product testing house as early on in the process as possible is clearly evident in order for these facts, needs and numbers to be known at project conception. A hugely important and beneficial area for a product and brand in the beauty marketplace is the use of such big, bold claims in order to draw in consumers. If a company decides on a marketing angle and specific claims for a product with the prices for these studies budgeted accordingly, the necessary testing protocols will be implemented as advised, provide an edge over those other companies that do not utilize on-pack claims, and will not abruptly halt the project when the appropriate testing study quotes are produced.

Understanding testing procedures and their impact on costs, marketing, strategies and other factors is key to making good, well informed product development and marketing decisions from the onset. And knowing all the needs and necessities of a new product development project, including that which is addressed by testing, enables the best, most efficient, cost-effective and refined product to be launched into the market and succeed in the marketplace.

Chris McLeod is a consultant in claim substantiation within the cosmetics, personal care and toiletries industry, having learned his trade at global consumer product testing house Aspen Clinical Research. Serving as the company’s business development manager, he started in product development and cosmetic research before applying his trade directly to journalism. McLeod is now the cosmetics business product manager at HPCi Media, overseeing the commercial expansion of the global cosmetics information company as well as writing regular articles for its various publications.