In this competitive environment, it is essential to have
powerful product claims that an everyday consumer can easily understand and differentiate from other similar products. Products should speak for themselves at the point of sale with claims that are not only appealing but truly deliver on performance. Supporting product claims that can withstand scrutiny is a challenging activity that needs to be done before market introduction. This article is a brief overview of the types of claims that can be made and the basic elements that are needed to make a good claims dossier.
What are product claims?
A claim is a statement that addresses some positive aspect of the product’s performance or a benefit to be gained from use of that product. There are two simple rules in writing claims:
- They should be simple enough for an everyday consumer to understand, yet powerful enough to motivate consumers to buy your product.
- They should differentiate your product and what it does from other, similar competitive products.
In writing claims, it is important to distinguish between product features and product benefits. Product features are simply a statement of what your product contains, whereas product benefits describe what the product does. For example, “Vaseline Spray n’ Go with Aloe and Glycerin” describes the features of this product. But if the sentence were to read, “Vaseline Spray n’ Go with Aloe and Glycerin moisturizes and leaves the skin soft,” it would describe not only the product features but also the associated benefits of moisturization and skin softness. Good claim language ties the product features to the product benefits.
Drug vs. Cosmetic Claims – Who decides?
Whether a product is a drug or a cosmetic is based on its intended use. Drugs are “articles that are intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals” [FD&C Act, sec. 201(g)(1)]. Cosmetics are “”articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body…for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance” [FD&C Act, sec. 201(i)].
The Four Basic Elements of a Good Claims Package:
- A good technical rationale.
- Good instrumental data showing differences with and without the beneficial ingredients.
- In controlled clinical studies, there should be statistical differences between test and control samples.
- An average consumer should be able to recognize the benefits without being prompted with a concept statement.
Watch for part two of my article on claims substantiation in August, when I’ll explore these and other aspects of claims in more depth.
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