Prep Steps for Successful Formulation Development


Identify a Benchmark

Pick a benchmark leader for product comparison, whether a competitor, your own or one from Marianna’s formula portfolio. Keep in mind, the purpose of a benchmark is not to nullify innovation, rather formulation benchmarks create a physical comparable to quantify specifications for development and review.


Develop Baseline Performance & Attributes

Identify the key attributes that a product must deliver from both a physical identity and product performance standpoint. Pay close attention to specific characteristics to help identify differences between formulations. In haircare, physical attributes often include product appearance (clear, translucent, opaque, etc.), texture and viscosity (or thickness).

Performance identifiers are vast but the most important insight needed for market success. We encourage product development teams to put themselves in the shoes of the end consumer. This exercise helps identify hair type, desired application and benefits that validate ingredient features. Spreadability, feel in hair, targeted hair type, level of hold and desired claims are common formulation attributes for haircare.


Structure Your Testing Protocol

After collaboration with your formulators, it is important to prepare your strategy for testing and review. Half-head comparison testing, blind tests utilizing a placebo and user evaluation tend to be the most rewarding for performance testing. If your brand develops formulas fluently, it would be wise to develop a testing collaborative that extend past your office colleagues and family members. Many of our partners harness unbiased and credible feedback from local salons. Regardless of your network, be sure to arm them with a simple evaluation form.

Agility is the new disruption in the beauty industry. Consumer expectations combined with expanding sales channels is putting the pedal to the metal on product development. Investing thought leadership in the product development prep phase will maximize your resources and success.