As a brand creator do you have control of your products? Can you adjust them at will or shop around for alternative manufacturers? Is the service you receive up to scratch and have you properly managed your risk? Do you even know if you are paying too much for your product?

It is often possible to have manufacturers do the legwork of creating formulations, developing manufacturing procedures, specifications, SDS and all of that technical stuff. Brand owners have neither the time nor the expertise to do this work, and sometimes life is just too short.

Some manufacturers may do this for a reduced or nominal fee or they might even do it for free (if the brand owner is of enough value to them) although it’s not actually free in the longer term.

So what’s the catch? You get the product you want, the manufacturer pays to create the product, everyone wins right?

By allowing the manufacturer to create and therefore own the Intellectual Property (IP) that you are spending many $1000s promoting, you are allowing them to own one of the most fundamental parts of your business. So while you think that they are doing the grunt work for you, you are taking most of the financial risk – to promote their product.

“There’s no interest like self interest.” – This applies equally to everyone including your manufacturer/s.

10 reasons to always develop products independently

01. In case of disagreement with the manufacturer

We all know that issues can arise in business, so when they do, make sure that your brand is not at risk.

02. Risk Management

What happens if the manufacturer goes out of business or has quality issues or simply gets too busy? One key risk management strategy is to spread risk through using multiple manufacturers.

03. If your manufacturer is taken over

If your manufacturer is taken over by another manufacturer or even worse by your opposition? Or sees your success and tries to replicate it…. (Yes I have seen all of this).

04. If you want to sell your brand

What about when you want to sell your brand? Not owning the IP is a deal breaker. No one will pay you full price and most won’t pay anything at all if you don’t own your IP.

05 Control the creativity process and outcomes

You are eminently more in control when you create products independently.

06. Control the evolution of formulations

Changes (like incorporating the latest active ingredients or preservatives etc) are sometimes needed from time to time to enhance quality of the formulation.

07. Get the best prices

We have all sharpened our pencils in order to win the business or do a deal. Manufacturers are not immune to this concept – unless of course they own the IP.

08. Get the best service.

Again where there is a risk of them losing your business, you will certainly have more of the manufacturer’s attention.

09. Unique point of difference

Do you sometimes feel you have the same product as everyone else, including your opposition (save for the odd tweak)?

10. Some manufacturers are just not very good at it.

They may be great at manufacturing – following recipes and written instructions, filling bottles etc. but that does not make them good at creating new products.

Your brand’s future is in your hands.

Doug Millar BSc. R&D manager, Cosmetic Science Australia

For more information on these or any of your skin or hair care needs contact

Doug is a long time member of the Australian Society of Cosmetic Chemists (ASCC) and International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC).
With over 25 years of experience in this industry, Doug has a broad understanding of a myriad of products aimed at a large number of markets both in Australia and around the world. Doug’s client profiles include international and multinational companies, large national distributors, top, middle and bottom end skincare distributors, hair salon and supermarket haircare distributors etc. Doug has worked extensively with natural products including certified organic products (ACO and Ecocert) and involving widespread use of essential oils, herbal extracts and other natural ingredients. He has a great familiarity with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Good Laboratory Practice (GLP).

The products he helped developed include millions of units that have been sold around the world into a range of retailers including, department stores, pharmacy chains, supermarkets, health food stores, gift stores, pet stores, television shopping, skin salons, hair salons, day spas, hotels, etc.

Brands that Doug has worked on include Avon, Schwarzkopf, Sukin and LQD Skincare.

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