Whoever gets there first ...

The coronavirus pandemic is making great demands on society and companies. Hygiene and also wellness have taken on a new significance, and Symrise is taking this development into account with two new programs.

For three-fourths of the year now, the world has been in a state of emergency. Society and companies are facing un­prece­dented challenges. Hygiene, care and wellness have become particularly important under COVID-19. Tailor-made solutions are therefore very pop­ular with end consumers. “We see that many consumers are demanding nat­ural products and natural fragrance solutions that are also sustainable,” says Anne Cabotin, SVP Global Con­sumer Fragrance. When the pandemic hit in the spring, Anne and her team knew that the com­pany had to react quickly to the drastic situation. Within a very short period of time, the coro­na­virus in­evitably be­came the dominant topic worldwide. “Our declared goal was to be the first to enter the market with hygiene fra­grance solutions that take into account changing customer needs. Otherwise one of our com­petitors would have done it. So the idea was to approach our reaction to the corona­virus in three phases,” says Anne.

The pandemic had just started, and employees couldn’t simply come to­gether. This was a logistical chal­lenge, as Usha Vijay notes. Tasked by Anne, Usha, VP Global Marketing Consumer Fragrance, and her team set about putting the three-tiered plan into action. Usha and her team gave themselves 40 days to complete the three phases. This was a very tight schedule. In the first phase, existing product concepts such as the Neo­fresh® technology and fra­grances from the global portfolio of Symrise were to be used to take the first quick step. The focus was on fragrances with essential oils that are said to have germicidal properties. In the next phase, compre­hensive consumer re­search would be conducted to devel­op new customer-specific solutions and products. In the final phase, the con­crete implementation for the year 2021 would then begin.

We wanted to be the first to respond to the coronavirus with hygienic fragrance solutions.

Anne Cabotin, SVP Global Consumer Fragrance

Success was achieved in the summer: Two programs were launched with HygieSym and Re-Imagine as a direct re­sponse to the coronavirus. HygieSym is a creative hygiene collection for home care and skin cleansing, with natural and sustainable ingredients. Re-Imagine is a wellness collection that is designed, as the name suggests, to satisfy the increased need for wellness. The focus here is on cleaning one’s skin and body and the air. Both HygieSym and Re-Imagine in­clude a range of prod­ucts with Symrise fragrances along with recom­men­da­tions for fragrance technologies and cosmetic ingredients. These include creams, care lotions, detergents and surface clean­ers. Fragrances signaling hygiene are more popular with con­sumers than ever before, Usha says. The increased desire for relaxing and soothing fragrances, for both one’s skin and mood, is also clearly evident during the corona­virus pandemic.

The development of the two programs was led by Fernando Levy, Director of Marketing Consumer Fragrance, who assumed responsibility for HygieSym, and Courtney Jones, VP Marketing Scent & Care North America, who led the Re-Imagine team. Together with Jannine Dzuroska and Adrianna Sayuri from Consumer Insights, all relevant data was then collected to get the two programs going. To make this happen, consumer interviews were conducted around the world. Colleagues from Scent & Care, Cos­metic Ingredients, Marketing, Con­sumer Insights, Global Communication Leaders and Research & Development worked together in the global core teams. “This is aligned with the collab­o­rative approach that we are in­creas­ingly adopting in our division,” Anne explains. The two programs have already paid off financially. According to Usha, the products and product solutions designed in phase 1 alone generated a return on investment of € 500,000.

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