• Martha Montana

How To Get the Most Out of Your Consumer Clinical Trials

In an industry as competitive and clustered as beauty, figuring out how to make your brand’s new skincare or color cosmetic product stand out is no small task. Brand story? Photos? Ingredients? What is the magic key to get the consumer’s attention? It’s actually all of these, but it starts with data. Namely, consumer clinical testing.


Unlike a few decades ago, today’s beauty consumer seeks out validation and proof of efficacy from their peers before investing in beauty products. The consumer wants to know how the product works, how it worked for other consumers, and in particular, how it worked for someone else just like themselves. Did they have the same skin color, skin type, hair texture, skin problem or concern? And the consumer wants results that represent them specifically.



So, what does that mean for brands? It means budgeting the time and money to run clinicals on your products, whether hero products or entire collections is no longer optional. The key to getting the most out of these clinical trials is partnering with a team that not only understands how to draft and execute a clinical trial, but how to get the best results from your trial by asking the right questions, and then to showcasing the results to a social media-fueled consumer landscape that wants the facts, and the photos to support it.


Four Steps to A Successful Clinical Trial in Beauty


1. Ask the right questions. Skin isn’t the same from consumer to consumer. It ages differently, it presents results differently, and the most obvious: it looks different. In order to get a clinical claim that will matter to all these different consumers, your protocol has to include questions that account for these differences.


2. Recruit the right participants. It used to be that one type of participant was primarily recruited for clinical trials: those that fell between I – III on the on the Fitzpatrick Scale, with mild to moderate signs of aging. And while that participant will produce results for some skincare products, she won’t necessarily produce results that are representative of your target consumer, or—speak to the consumer who is interested in and seeking out your brand. Gone are the days when beauty shoppers relied on the sales pitch of neighborhood cosmetic rep to determine if a product was right for them. Beauty consumers today self-identify with products they want, and they expect to see clinicals that represent them.


3. Test for multifunctional product claims. Don’t limit claim testing to just one claim for firmness or wrinkle reduction. Consumers have multiple concerns they want addressed and it’s hard to write one survey instrument that works for all. By using a wider range of consumers and questions for trials, more robust claims can be captured.


4. Showcase results strategically. At Media Lab Science, we tell our brands to start clinical trials and associated social media awareness before products are even launched. Claims can then go directly on packaging, and once the trial is over, social media channels have an instantly available content funnel from which to generate awareness and traffic.




Based in Los Angeles, Media Lab Science is a one of a kind clinical testing lab at the forefront of executing comprehensive clinical trials, as well as before and after photography and consumer perception videos in order to help brands create rock solid claims that matter to today’s consumer. Our team of acclaimed industry leaders understands how to design a testing protocol that tackles the challenges of today’s online environment to deliver data brands can use immediately.


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