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The Claim Game

By: Alisa Marie Beyer
Posted: December 6, 2010, from the December 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 4 of 5

Claim: Dermatologist-tested and approved.
What she my think in a positive regard: If a dermatologist approved this, then it must work and be safe and, more importantly, be effective.

What she may think in a negative regard: What does that mean, dermatologist-tested? Did the company pay dermatologists money to approve the product? Unless I know the credentials of these professionals, I’m not interested.

Get Out There and Mingle

In addition to combing through print publications for claims, another way to get a snapshot of what your competition is saying is to spend an afternoon wandering the beauty aisles at your favorite retailer or online beauty site, and simply look around. Which brand is claiming to erase wrinkles with gene-based technology? Who is using a superstar model to make claims? How does the claim look when visually represented on-shelf? Talk to the sales people and, if possible, customers about their opinions and impressions.

Purchase a few competitive products in your category and study them. Alternatively, if you are searching online, carefully study what products the site is featuring on its home page, and critically evaluate the claims these products are making. Further, don’t forget to check out the social media campaigns of your competition. More and more, companies are turning to these nontraditional but hugely popular forms of interaction to reach potential new clients, and claims are a big part of this strategy. You’ll also gain valuable real-time consumer feedback via these channels. Want to really know if a claim seems viable to your target consumer? Ask about it on Facebook or Twitter, and you likely will not be lacking in responses—and instantly usable intelligence.

The Claim Advantage

The entire industry wants to see flat sales predictions proven wrong and positive industry growth. By understanding, studying and ultimately making compelling and real product claims that appeal to consumers, you can create an environment for consumers that keeps the excitement level high—and wallets open.