In China, Symrise also advertises on social media platforms.


Infomercial meets game show

As a response to the social distancing rules in place last year in China, Symrise turned to social media marketing and selling via livestream – with great success.

As challenging as crises can be, they can also be drivers of innovation. The Consumer Fragrance Marketers in China now know this first-hand. When the country introduced a strict lockdown at the beginning of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the beauty industry started relying more heavily on livestreams for product marketing. Tracy Li, Marketing Head at Symrise in China wanted to adopt this kind of promotion. Why couldn’t a B2B business approach also work for customers?

Symrise China has been working with livestreams since 2019, when two beauty influencers were booked for an annual promotion event together with Fenhao, the most important beauty care customer of Symrise in China. “As a customer and also an agent, Fenhao offers us access to a multitude of other, smaller customers that we could never serve individually,” explains Tracy. “The influencers reported on the event live and talked about the products, reaching their many followers and introducing them to the world of fragrance.”

At the outset of the pandemic, the team sought to use their digital experience to strengthen opportunities by developing and promoting the right products – a kit of fragrances with antibacterial properties developed by Elaine Zhang, Business Development Director. For their first foray into content creation, Elaine and Tracy turned to short promotional videos. The pair themselves went in front of the camera to star in the videos. Featuring cute animations, emojis and sound effects, the style of the videos was carefree, lively and humorous.

TIKTOK AND SHOPPING FESTIVALS The video was posted on the Chinese version of TikTok,where customers could learn about the fragrances and order samples to try. “We are confident that Symrise was the first supplier of flavors and fragrances to do this kind of advertising in China,” explains David Silverman, Marketing Director Consumer Fragrance APAC. Building on the success of the first video, the team jumped into the world of livestreaming. Partnering again with Fenhao, they co-hosted two livestreams, taking place during two of China’s most popular “Shopping Festivals,” that take place a few times a year across the whole country to boost sales of consumer goods.

The livestreams were staged as a mix of game show and infomercial – young, lively and dynamic. Samples of the fragrances had been sent to customers in advance so they could appreciate them before buying, yet they were available for purchase at a special price only during the livestream itself. At the first event, 108 tons of fragrance were sold within one hour. At the second event, this went up to 145 tons.

“Symrise is the first fragrance company to take part in shopping festivals to sell to its existing customers and acquire new ones,” David says proudly. “This success solidifies our plan to continue using the digital sphere as a marketing and sales platform,” adds Tracy.

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