Everyone has seen infomercials and sponsored ads that defy credulity. Yet many consumers buy into these fictions, purchasing these products. The companies that sell these bogus products initially see a huge surge in sales. But, over time, these sales collapse—and, often, so does the company—when consumers eventually realize that they’ve been duped. Every company wants their product claims to appeal to consumers, but it’s also crucial that they pass muster with the professionals who will fund and promote your product when they see that it delivers on its claims.
There was a time when consumers, investors and medical practitioners, including physicians, were naïve, indifferent or averse to dietary supplements and alternative medicine in general. Times have changed: Today consumers are increasingly sophisticated in their understanding of how to differentiate good products from bad. At the same time, investors have become increasingly more interested in supporting ventures in this arena and savvy in their selection criteria. Finally, physicians are now recognizing the utility of these treatments as stand-alones or in combination with standard medical offerings.
These changes have come about as a result of pressure from all of the above stakeholders, as well as from regulatory authorities that require credible scientific data to support legitimate claims related to these products. Such credibility and compliance can only be achieved though standardization and clinical testing of a company’s products. When you have these professionals on your product’s side, your company is much more likely to attract funding and succeed over the long haul.
Here’s more about how each of these groups will assist you when your product claims have been validated:
Everyone wants to make a quick buck, but quality investors are much more interested in how much money they can make over the long haul. You may need more capital to launch and market a new product than you have in your reserves. That’s true whether you’re a start-up or a company with many products already in the market. And yet you know your product has huge potential; so, what should you do? A good expenditure at this point is in a clinical study that demonstrates the efficacy of your product.
Get investors behind you: Having validated claims increases the appeal and value of your product to investors. They’re looking for companies and products to invest in where they have a good chance of making money. A product with validated claims is much more attractive to investors than those that have minimal or no research substantiating their product claims. It’s also very important to have clinical studies performed specifically on your product rather than culling research by other groups on ingredients in your product. You may also be pleasantly surprised with unexpected positive activities.
Those who sell your product want you to hype your claims as much as you can get away with legally. In fact, they may lead you astray, encouraging you to push the boundaries for greater sales. But, guess what? They’ll also remove your product from their shelves immediately should it come to light that you’re over-claiming on what your product delivers.
Get retailers behind you: Your claims have to be true and provable. This comes down to a combination of appropriate verbiage that you can defend in court, should it come to that. Phrases that are based on clinical studies performed on your product help you appeal to consumers and retailers, making certain your claims are legit and legal.
Medical Practitioners and Researchers
One of the best ways to insure the success of your product is to get medical practitioners to acknowledge its benefits and the veracity of your claims. They’ll then recommend it to their patients and/or support it in research journals. Researchers are often doubtful about product claims when there’s only anecdotal evidence to support them. When you have clinical trials to support your product you also provide a model for researchers to further demonstrate its efficacy and expand its utility
Get medical practitioners and researchers behind you: Positive results in your clinical studies will help you with this. Nothing is more damning to a product than having the medical and science community condemn your product and its claims. The best way to prevent this is to have demonstrable science support your product claims via clinical studies.
Christopher Baker is the CEO of Global Clinicals, Inc., an OTC and dietary supplement CRO based in Los Angeles.