There are generally 3 things your company can be in this highly competitive industry:
• An innovative leader – searching out the new, innovative, and potentially NEXT BIG THING. These companies provide the ground breaking ‘different’ products and materials out there, and have the opportunity to be the leaders and shakers of novel ingredients and ground breaking cosmetic products.
• An inspiring trend follower – this is where most successful companies sit, generating effective and interesting products from generally new actives and/or sensory experiences. They’ll use new actives or aesthetic enhancers in expected ways and achieve notable success.
• True followers, ‘me too’ companies – great for budget offerings, they’ll follow on from the above 2 leaders after products or ingredients have created a sensation.
As the NEXT BIG THING will always come from an innovative leader, this article will focus on the tips, tricks and sources these companies go to in search of that elusive novel concept.
The first thing you need to remember when we talk about the NEXT BIG THING is that it is always something so completely different to what is already out there. So we’re not talking about yet another plant extract sourced from the ocean or oil from the Amazon… we’re talking about something really different, and not thought of before for use in a cosmetic.
If you want to really have the NEXT BIG THING then consider what has been used as past sources of inspiration to give you the secrets of where the next big discovery may be hiding. There is plenty more to be discovered out there… you just need to know where to look! Novel innovations can and have come from one or more of the following areas:
• Chemists or Scientists:
The discovery of latest scientific research findings in related areas can be transferred to provide beneficial cosmetic use; for example, using a substance that has previously been used for healing skin and studying its benefits for collagen synthesis and cross transferring those benefits to discover new anti-ageing substances
• Accidental discoveries:
When a known substance is accidentally noticed to have a cosmetic benefit, and then this is developed further. The best example of this was the discovery of DHA, previously investigated for use as an oral drug for children in the 50’s, the spilled substance was noticed to ‘tan’ the skin and its development for cosmetic products became phenomenal
• Marketing inspirations:
A new take on an existing material: ingesting nutrient rich substances for cosmetic benefits! While this has been tried in some parts of the world with limited success, and may be restricted in other parts of the world, the truth is, great skin does come from within. There are plenty of skin rich discoveries to be had but a strong word of caution for those wanting to expand in this area: make sure it is compliant with local definitions before ingestion, and make sure it REALLY WORKS as consumer are particularly wary of products touting visible benefits