Multifunctional formulations are likely to become increasingly sophisticated and effective as cosmetic science continues to progress. It is anticipated that increasing consumer acceptance and demand will fuel this trend as people's confidence in the (multifunctional) performance of these products grows. In short, an upward spiral in the market importance of these products is anticipated, the slope of which will be determined more by outstanding science than by outstanding marketing. Multifunctional products appear to be here to stay, and poised to grow.
In the opinion of the author, the most exciting achievements in this arena are those in which the cosmetic scientist has been able to elevate the performance of a subfunctionality to a level of such magnitude that it is perceived as creating a new product category. A prominent example, cited many times throughout this chapter, is the two-in-one shampoo. While the likelihood of attaining comparable achievements in the future may be diminished by consideration of the numbers of scientists presumed to have unsuccessfully explored these areas in the past, it is also increased by the significant strides being made on a regular basis in true cosmetic science. Prominent among these are the achievements contributing to truly efficacious skin care.
On a negative note, it is important for the marketer and scientist alike to remember (and accept) that multifunctional products may not be well received by certain individuals and demographic segments. For a variety of reasons, varying
■a from greater belief in the functionality of single-function products to enjoying the "ceremony" of individual product application, these consumers prefer to use a series of conventional products. On the other hand, for certain demographic groups, multifunctional products may represent much more than convenience. They may indeed represent the key to the penetration of new demographic segments (e.g., the male consumer who would not use a skin moisturizer but would use a moisturizing cleanser). Extension of this phenomenon to other product areas appears to be an interesting area for exploration.
Perhaps the most effective means of convincing the new user of the multi-efficacy of a multifunctional product prior to actual trial is through the strategic deployment of product form, aesthetic signals, and packaging componentry. In addition to their traditional utility in supporting product functionality, these parameters are of great value in reinforcing consumer buy-in to product multi-functionality. Clearly, the presence of a second phase of discrete particles or beads, or an additional formula component (that must be added prior to usage) present convincing visual (and possibly tactile) reinforcement that a second functionality is present. So potent are these signals that it is likely that the consumer will gladly put up with the inconvenience of dealing with packaging systems that are somewhat more difficult to use and/or somewhat more bulky than the ideal.
It is more critical for multifunctional formulations than for conventional formulations that the full spectrum of laboratory, clinical/salon, and consumer testing be conducted. This is due to the complications that are, in most cases, introduced by the incorporation of one or more additional functionalities. Further exacerbating the situation (as discussed earlier), these additional functionalities may be contradictory to the formula's prime function. Particularly in such cases, initial testing must be conducted under carefully controlled laboratory conditions with the prime objective of separately determining whether primary performance objectives are achieved for each of the multiple functionalities. (Hopefully, such testing would have been conducted in comparison with standards that were specified in a carefully prepared new product description document.) Upon the successful outcome of this testing, prototypes must then be thoroughly evaluated by salon, clinical, and consumer test methods to determine the aggregate impact of the multiple functionalities (and aesthetic properties) under conditions of real-life usage. Here it is critical that at least one segment of this testing employ the packaging and label directions/copy intended for actual market usage.
The successful development of multifunctional products begins with the strategic deployment of the skills essential to the formulation and testing of conventional products and proceeds to higher levels of complication. In all likelihood, | mastery of these complications depends on gaining an unusually thorough knowledge of formula attributes and deficiencies, as well as related consumer attitudes and usage patterns. Clearly, the development of truly multifunctional products is accompanied by negative baggage that must be fully understood and effectively t dealt with to increase the likelihood of gaining consumer acceptance and, ultimately, commercial success. Given the popularity of these products, such efforts would appear to be well justified.
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