Testing – Bigger isn’t always better

Sensational claims in skin care, sun care and antiperspirant products increase product development costs and create unrealistic consumer expectations

Sensational claims about a product are often not only unrealistic but also greatly increase product testing costs, as Chris McLeod explains

A growing number of overzealous claims have been drifting into the realms of the cosmetic consumer consciousness recently: ‘96 hour antiperspiration’; ‘moisturises the top ten layers of skin all week long’; ‘100% reduction of wrinkles, instantly’; ‘sun protection factor 100’. And none are more prevalent than in the consumer product testing environment.

The cosmetics industry is a highly engaging and continuously interesting sector. From the marketing angle to cost/benefit financial analysis, it forges an ever-morphing path through culture and economy to cement its necessity in consumer opinion. Its managing directors, product developers and formulation chemists are passionate about the products they create because of their almost beautiful chemical construction and the benefits they can provide to the consumer.

However, it is also important to acknowledge that the main purpose of this industry from a business perspective is to make a profit, convincing the consumer to purchase one product over another. Generally this is facilitated by forging an image onto the consumer’s mind of what this product or brand could do for you, why they need to buy it and what distinguishes it from everything else. So it is easy to see why the aforementioned claims have come to prominence: to gain a leading market position. However, bigger is seldom always better.


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