- Should have good technical rationale
- Have supporting instrumental data
- Data from controlled clinical studies showing statistical differences between test and control products
- Benefits should be easily recognizable to the user without being prompted by a concept statement.
Generating and writing claims is best accomplished if representatives from the marketing, research and development and legal departments make this a collective team effort with shared responsibility within their areas of expertise. This article will discuss the above four elements in more detail.
Technical rationale is stating in simple words what is in your product that delivers the promise. For example, if your claim is “Makes hair soft” then point out the ingredient(s) that you have used that would deliver softness. Additionally, gather up all of the available literature support that shows that this ingredient(s) delivers the benefit. This could be work already done by the raw material supplier, publications from journals showing data or mechanism of action of such materials, patent literature and/or work done in your own laboratory.
Next, choose an appropriate analytical test from your tool box that can show performance differences with and without the key ingredient in the formulation. Before and after treatment comparisons may also be an appropriate way of measuring and quantifying the differences. Choosing the right methodology would depend on the claims that are being made. Benefits claimed after multiple uses such as “strengthens hair after one week use” would require a different protocol than one that claims the benefit after a single use. In all cases, results should be measureable and statistically significant for the claim to be substantiated.
Claim support can be enhanced if it can be shown that under normal use conditions, the benefit is recognizable by the user or a trained professional. To generate this type of support, half-head studies can be done in the salon where one half of the head is treated with the test product and the other with a control. Products are then rated on a predetermined scale by the stylists and the participants. To avoid any biases, it is best to have separate stylists applying the products and those rating the products. The panel size should be large enough to get a variety of hair types and for determination of statistical significance. Home use tests where panelists take the products home to use for a period of time, may also provide valuable data to support claims.
In summary, if you are making cosmetic claims, make sure that they are well written so there are no expressed or implied drug benefits. Next, clearly identify what the claim is and choose the appropriate test methods to support it. Always make sure that claims data is generated before the product is launched, not after they are challenged. Choose test protocols that are well recognized in the industry, and the data can withstand scrutiny.
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