We live in a society of wise consumers. Most of us won’t buy anything without knowing something about its quality and performance. Advertising can overcome a certain amount of that, but ultimately, we typically want some hard facts and unbiased opinions about what we may be buying.
Beauty products hold truer to that premise than perhaps any other product. Of course, the process for consumers to choose beauty products is incredibly complex. The depth of information they demand about cosmetics, hair products, and so forth is much greater than for many other products, and with good reason.
People who are shopping for cosmetics want to know more than what it looks like. They want to know things that only a beauty product testing company can provide for them. Specifically, they look at these areas.
This is an obvious one. Cosmetics are all about looking fashionable, after all. As a customer looks for products, the first thing she’s probably considering is whether it can give her the look she wants, which is usually in line with the look that is most popular at the moment. She wants the colors and finishes that will help her look the way she wants to look.
That’s where focus groups come in. Testing companies get a cross-section of potential customers and ask them if they feel like the products can help them achieve the looks that they see in the fashion magazines and the red carpet. If the majority thinks so, the product is in good shape. If the response is less enthusiastic, changes may be made.
Purity & Quality
Of course, no one cares how fashionable a product is if it doesn’t meet quality standards. Cosmetics, in particular, are under intense scrutiny in this regard. Most such products are on the user’s body for as long as 16 hours, so any type of irritation or reaction that can occur is potentially very problematic. Trial runs with diverse groups of people will help bring any such issues to light, and good production procedures are essential as well.
Quality is important as well. Cosmetics users want to know that their mascara won’t dry out, or that their powder won’t crack and fall apart. They want to know that hair products will wash out clean without leaving residue. Product testing with focus groups helps establish these standards long before the product hits the market.
Every user of beauty products knows that it isn’t just about how you look when you use it. Nobody wants a product that isn’t practical to use. Nail polish that aces the color is worthless if it dries too slowly. Makeup that creates just the right shimmer will end up in the garbage if its containers won’t close.
Part of the testing process is for the packaging, storage, and actual application of the product. Consumers want products that won’t spill, dry out, or be impractical to use. The various brushes and applicators that go with the product, as well as those that consumers already have, should work well with it. Focus groups who put the products through their paces in their daily routines can help to establish credibility for the company’s claims that their products are easy to use when you are on the go all day long.
People want to know what to expect of the products they buy, and beauty products are certainly subject to a high level of scrutiny. For that reason, the industry works hard to get credible, detailed information about their products so that they can hit the shelves or the catalogs carrying the answers to consumers’ questions before they are even asked.