Product Development – How a Setback Became a First to Market Product
Speed to market, first to market … to market, to market, to market … how fast can we get there, and can we get there first?!
A number of years ago, I was working with a third party lab on an under eye concealer project - one texture and five shades. While this type of out-of house development was unusual for my employing company at that time, the brand I worked on opened doors to collaboration with outside manufacturers.
Mid-development, a financial issue arose between the vendor and the corporate company. Long story short, I was blocked from doing any further development work with the vendor. My dilemma: I still needed to deliver a product to meet the calendar dates for Marketing - five skus for 4th quarter. The products were scheduled in the calendar, they were in the budget, and development started—there was no time to rework the product calendar at this point. What to do?
And then—that aha! moment. I thought outside of the normal color cosmetic development process and re-evaluated an anti-aging skin care formula that I helped develop a few years earlier. It contained an encapsulated retinol release technology.
My questions were:
1.) Can I use the skin care bulk as a concealer base?
2.) The bulk was white. Will it hold enough pigment/color without drastically changing the texture?
3.) Would the retinol technology in the skin care bulk still perform if pigment was added to the bulk?
4.) Could the product maintain anti-aging skin care claims and deliver color performance?
5.) Could this be first to market???
With time tight and preliminary stability testing on its way, the R&D team bought into the idea immediately and started testing the product with pigment. And voilà! We had a remarkable product to deliver that was better than the first concealer concept originally slated on the calendar!
The final product was innovative, with skin care performance claims and color payoff. The legal team confirmed that there was no other product on the market at that time with this type of performance. You could say it was a CC under eye concealer way before its time!
Are you looking for innovation? Think about ways you can turn your current product development projects around to make them something even greater than your original concepts!
If you liked this post, keep an eye out for future posts on first to market product development.