CCUK held its first workshop with new partner Iain Sallis of the International Trichology Congress. Iain was inspired to hold such a workshop based on his own experience of developing and launching a new product to the hair care market. The venue at the Farjo Hair Institute in Manchester was super, with a conference room and networking space.
This one-of-a-kind workshop was aimed at trichologists, salon owners and anyone interested in creating a new hair care range, and covered all elements from "Research to Retail". With 7 talks throughout the day finishing with a 'speed dating; session, the delegates found the whole workshop informative and useful for their own businesses.
Henry Brew (Here2Grow) kicked off the event by providing a thorough grounding in first principles of product design, stressing the importance of understanding the target hair type and having a good benchmark for the early stages of testing.
Mike Hindley (Croda) covered the important topic of ingredient selection and consideration such as efficacy, sustainability and natural. He introduced the Croda ranges of raw materials in a very visual way.
Vinetta Brew (Here2Grow) discussed the importance of the claims and regulatory status of new products and how important it is to be clear on claims from the start. She outlined the PIF (product information file) and responsible person ( RP) requirements on brands.
Joyce Ryan (JR consulting) discussed the types of assessment of efficacy that are available for hair care products again, stressing that the test must be developed around the claims not the other way round. She outlined the different types of assessment - in vitro, ex vivo and clinical, including salon, home use and questionnaire studies that are all really useful for evidencing efficacy claims.
Steve Beever (Beever Personal Care) raised the importance issues of manufacturing scale up, with some tips like keep the packaging simple, checking for ingredient availability lead times and minimum order quantities of ingredients which each may pose issues for the new brand.
Michael Thomas (Taxar) covered the rules around obtaining R&D tax credits for new product development, saying that if the team can evidence they have used innovation methods, like trial and error, to develop a new product in a way that advances the field, then these costs are eligible for tax relief, helping reduce the costs for getting that product to launch.
Joe Saks gave us a great lesson in digital marketing, covering communications on multiple channels like facebook, instagram, tiktok, and he shared the 'dos' and 'don'ts' in user generated content use and how to maximise the value of a marketing budget. With tips such as a square image for Insta might not be suitable for facebook! - so two images might be needed in a photoshoot of your new product. Who knew!
Finally, the speed dating session saw all delegates chatting to all the experts with a bell going every 10 minutes. This busy 1-2-1 session at the end proved really useful for our wannabe innovators and we are hugely grateful to everyone for their energy and support in this event.
Thanks to all the speakers and delegates for their time and contributions and we hope to launch an online version later in the year.