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How long does it take to create a beauty brand and develop product?

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An area underestimated by start-ups is the amount of time it will take to launch their product onto the market. Our rule of thumb is around 2 years, from first initial concept to launch.

As a general guide, timings are as follows:

Creating the brand strategy – 3 months

Brand design and copy – 3 months

Product development – 3-6 months

Formulation testing – 3 months

Manufacturing – 1-3 months

Website design and build – 3 months

Pre-launch preparation (PR, asset creation, digital marketing strategy etc) – 2 months

Although some of these phases can run concurrently, many will rely on key milestones to move forward – for example, pack copy cannot be finalised until testing is complete to ensure no changes need to be made to the formula.

How can you speed up this process?

Unfortunately, many of the stages are out of a brand’s control, and the current issues surrounding ingredient and packaging supplies and logistics delays caused by COVID-19 and Brexit, have impacted timelines further.

However, there are a few ways to ensure a smoother and more succinct journey. One way is to be as clear as possible with your brands Symbolic Brand Value – it’s unique selling point and positioning – and ensure this is communicated to all parties involved in the process. This will help to speed up decision making along the way, for example, if you have clear rules over your ingredient philosophy which have come out of the strategy stage, quicker decisions can be made over the inclusion or exclusion of ingredients in your formulation development. You may wish to consider white labelling your products – where off-the-shelf formulations are selected which have already been developed and tested.

Cashflow is another key attribute which can hinder progress if correct and sufficient investment is not ready when required.

Finally, constantly reviewing your critical path will alleviate problems and could save months of delays if planned and followed correctly.

The Red Tree is the UK’s leading international beauty brand consultancy and a powerhouse of ideas, insight and inspiration. For an informal discussion on how we might help you, please contact us.

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