Dr John – the Chemist
Many consider the USA to be the kings of product development and marketing. In many ways this is true and they have made many marketing paradigms that are hard to ignore. For example, experts maintain that, statistically, a person in a pharmacy or supermarket spends approximately 3 seconds selecting a product. So as a product developer it is critical that your product portrays its image and purpose in its simplest, easy to understand form. It is also important that the message is visible from about 1 metre away since we cruise up and down the shelves scanning for our favourite brand. It is also often quoted by marketing guru’s that a product needs 3 important aspects to be successful, a point of difference, a point of difference and a point of difference.
So how can I make my product stand out?
Novel packaging now almost knows no boundaries, your artwork designer should make themselves aware of the hundreds of thousands of packaging choices available. It is not difficult to combine an elegant colour scheme with a novel texture of packaging material or use packaging with a strong eco message. For example, tube manufacturers now offer products that utilise ocean plastic waste. It is also important to avoid using fonts that are so artistic they are not legible from a distance or selecting colours that don’t offer a strong contrast such as white lettering on a pastel background.
How do I create a point of difference?
In the personal care and cosmetic industries there is a full spectrum of offerings that cover every need. From cheap supermarket brands to what is known as masstige (affordable prestige products) to top shelf brands, they are all well serviced. A successful product usually offers a unique combination of functionality, elegance, affordability, and value for money. Creating a strong point of difference is often challenging and certainly can’t be done successfully without some serious research. Because we are all consumers, we think we are all marketing experts, this type of thinking can be a trap because we all think differently and have individual preferences. Any research should take into consideration consumer trends such as naturalness, eco friendliness, ethics, functionality, novelty, demographics, and price point. An appealing product may require more than one point of difference, in crude terms the more the merrier. Hero ingredients play a large part in differentiation and any publishable scientific works will go a long way in convincing your customers to try a new product. A novel combination of hero ingredients that combine a perception of functionality with a strong social conscience is more and more common.
- Try not to use alarming or inciteful language regarding other products or ingredients. Most consumers will see through the motivation and may hold you, your claims or product in contempt.
- Do your research and watch out for “fake news”, try to verify everything from a second reliable source, use positive messaging on well thought out trials.
- Be aware that some raw material suppliers are only too happy to sell you a “miracle” ingredient for a considerable price. Remember that if an ingredient really could give you a facelift or change your skin tone overnight it would be a registered medicine.
- Try not to use outrageous or unsubstantiated claims, consumers are much more informed today and have the resources to check your validity.
- Clean, green and honesty amount to an ethical position, consumers are much more aware of corporate responsibility these days so check and re-check your credentials.
- Take heed of the market leaders and note their consumer messaging, they are not market leaders for no reason, they spend millions of dollars getting it right.
- Make your messaging easy to understand, the occasional scientific word is OK but be mindful that most media aim for a reading age of 12.
- Remember you don’t have to be vegan or all natural, these attributes are still quite niche and most market leaders will not try to compete because they don’t have to.