Ten steps to take before creating your own cosmetic range

Allingham Beck Associates are renowned for their ability to hand hold fledgling brands or new startups through the maze of new product development and onto launch of products and all steps in between.

Many of our clients ask what they should consider before we start work on their products. To this end we have put together a few pointers.

Ten steps to take before creating your own cosmetic range

  1. Decide on what you want your brand to be about…what will be its USP?
  2. Consider how you want your products to perform, what results you wish to achieve…describe the functionality?
  3. Decide where you see them sitting in the market place…what are the bench mark brands?
  4. Decide how you hope to sell the products (retail or internet etc.)
  5. Identify your target customer
  6. Visualise how your wish your product to look
  7. Identify potential containers and packaging
  8. Consider the need for bar codes
  9. Choose a direction for the Fragrance of your product or range
  10. List raw materials that you either want or don’t want to use

1. Decide on what you want your brand to be about…what will be its USP?

If you have made a decision about what you want your brand to be ‘saying’ to the end consumer now is the time to start writing it down. Before we are able to develop products to suit your needs this has to be taken into consideration. For example; do you want ‘all natural’ or as natural as we can make it?

(We are certainly going to need to discuss your definition of “Natural” with you as this remains to be defined by the legislators)

Or are you looking for specific results?
Will it be design led or performance led?
Is it to be ‘volume’ or niche marketed, therefore price led or at least price sensitive, or aspirational?

Are there existing products in the brand to be taken into consideration?
It is imperative that anything we do for your brand going forward is in line with what you want the brand to stand for. Once launched it is difficult to go back and redefine your corporate stance

2. Consider how you want your products to perform, what results you wish to achieve…describe the functionality

If you have specific products in mind, for example a hair care range, will the products be used in a salon, by professionals or sold to the public? Are they to be treatments with a function? Or if for example you want a skin cream is it for the face or body, day or night use, and should it be for a specific treatment such a light cream for young skin or a rich one for older skin?

So think again about what products you want to develop and what you want them to achieve.

3. Decide where you see them sitting in the market place…what are the bench mark brands?

If you can see an existing brand that you like the look of who are perhaps
in the area of the market that you wish to enter and may have some elements that you like let us know. It helps us understand things such as texture, viscosity, colours, fragrances, activity.
It also helps us understand if what you are asking for is realistic…i.e. you set a bench mark product that strips nail varnish but want us to make one that’s 100% natural for half the price.

So think about where in the market you see your product sitting

4. Decide how you hope to sell the products (retail or internet etc.)

How you wish to sell the product or products has an effect on how we package it. If it’s a product for babies for example, the colours and textures, graphics and even pack sizes are affected. Is it to be sold at Retail, through Wholesale, Exported or from on line or even from a Market stall we need to understand and this will affect the materials we can use.

Ask yourself, how will it be sold and where?

5. Identify your target customer

If its’ a teenager’s range the graphic style might be very different from a mens shave range for example. But so will the copy that we write and all these elements need to be taken as a whole not piece meal and are better off being known in advance of our development. We can then design all parts of the product to suit the end user. A range for older skin for example would be a different consistency to one for a young skin and be likely to use different ingredients.

So who is your customer?

6. Visualise how your wish your product to look

Is there something that is in your minds eye or is there a style out there that reflects something of what you have thought about…do we have a storyboard or even just a general description of where your vision is leading you?

Colours can affect our acceptance of the finished product especially if it has a destination where it will go on show and the colours you have chosen are rarely seen there or don’t sit in harmony with the fragrance.

A hot red pack for example rarely works with a cool green fragrance or sits happily in the baby section of the retailer.

Have you visualized it in a finished form?

7. Visualise how your wish your product to look

We can fill jars or pots of all description and all sizes, airless pumps, spray pumps, deo sticks, roll on deos, tubes, bottles, tottles, wipes, sachets, vials, gift boxes to name but a few…… once we are part of your team you actually have access to all our suppliers and our knowledge of the Industry and its pitfalls. We can help with buying bespoke components from all over the world.

If you have an idea of how you want it packed we will almost certainly be able to help make it a reality.

8. Consider the need for bar codes

Each Company or Brand buy their own prefix which is exclusive to them. Then you raise a finished code for each individual product that doesn’t apply to any other product. There is also another a code to raise that applies to the outer case or shipper, this denotes how many are in the box and is different each time you vary how many in the box. They are also different from the single product code. Many retailers will insist on bar coding and we can help.

9. Choose a direction for the Fragrance of your product or range

Fragrance is crucial to our Industry and the products we design. It can polarize the end user and blind them to any other benefits the product might bring.

We are adept at blending Essential Oils in house should you require this. We also work closely with excellent perfumers who can get to the heart of what you have in mind being 100% natural or a blend of both essential oils and synthetics. We can also produce flavours for lip balms and similar lines.

There are many directions that can be taken sweet, floral, ozonic, woody, musky, herby, citrus are some to think about. We can also emulate although not copy any fine fragrance on the market and again this fragrance could reflect any story board that you may have prepared

10. List raw materials that you either want or don’t want to use

The decision about raw materials is again quite important, it can become something that your brand stands for. If, for example, you want to have an organic status we will have to start from this premise rather than come back to it at the end. We might not have availability at that stage. If you are designing a daily face cream for a lady and the raw materials mean it is too viscose (thick) or sticky it is unlikely to find favour with the end client


Allingham Beck have a proven track record of taking a product idea from concept to market. Contact us today to start the process.

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