We often mention in our blog posts and in our tutorials of how vital it is for marketers to continual introduce new products. As we note in our Managing Products tutorial, marketers need new products for several reasons including: new products tend to be more profitable than older products; new products can help fill out product lines; and new products help reposition a company in the minds of key customers.
For the majority of new products, once developed the key challenge in getting these on the market is primarily focused on making sure customers are aware of it and can buy it. This is why promotion and distribution decisions are so critical after a product is created. However, for products, such as medical equipment, drugs, electrical products and a few others, marketers face a significant roadblock prior to a product reaching customers. For these products, a regulatory agency must often approve a product before it can be sold. Yet, some products seem to walk a delicate line between needing or not needing approval.
This story from Time presents an excellent example. It discusses a product claiming to offer UVA sun protection by simply drinking a fluid. In other words, they promote that protection from harmful sun rays can be obtained by consuming a drink instead of by spreading skin cream. If you think this is farfetched, you are not alone. The medical community, and specifically dermatologists, are questioning the claims of this product and are demanding research results backing up the product's effectiveness claims. But the company promoting the sun protection drink, Osmosis Skincare, has apparently not yet offered any research support.
Since this product appears to fall within the organic products market, it would seem the company neither needs regulatory approval nor needs to back up their claims with research. However, until Osmosis produces scientific evidence, expect the news media to continue an onslaught of questions about this product's effectiveness.