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Fragrance houses strive to better understand gen Y and Z consumers

Studies conducted by Symrise and Firmenich outline the consumer behavior of teenagers and young adults and reveal a profile geared towards innovation and intense social media activity.

Sensorial experience event about fragrances for millenials promoted by (...)

Sensorial experience event about fragrances for millenials promoted by Firmenich

The so-called “GENYZ”, that elusive slab of society spanning from generation Z’s tweens to 34-year old millennials, is drawing the attention of fragrance suppliers around the world.

In order to effectively aim their products toward this moving, highly connected and short attention-spanned target, fragrance makers Symrise and Firmenich have run studies to map out how they relate to perfumes and assist their industry partners in better planning their launches.

A diversified and utra-connected generation

Doreen Bucher, VP Marketing, Fine Fragrance at Symrise USA

Doreen Bucher, VP Marketing, Fine Fragrance at Symrise USA

Symrise’s qualitative research with Gen-Z girls in four US cities unveiled five trend concepts: ‘Pretty Please’, ‘Enchanted Rebellion’, ‘#Funfashionista’, ‘Don’t Worry, B-Happy’ and ‘Get Sporty’.

‘Pretty Please’ orbits around traditional romantic, feminine love - the Juliets of the new age. ‘Enchanted Rebellion’, on the other hand, is all about a somber, sensual and mysterious approach towards love; think sexy vampires and devoted werewolves exchanging bites over a distraught maiden. “#Funfashionista” is this generation’s Sex and the City, fusing together female friendship and a high sense of fashion with an urban-chic backdrop. ‘Don’t Worry B-Happy’ translates a happy-go-lucky attitude towards life, while “Get Sporty” was a concept suggested by the interviewees themselves as an expression of their relation to sport fashion.

According to the team at Symrise North America, participants were asked which aromas were related to these core concepts and then crossed the data with a list of top-selling perfumes for this demographic. The results were used to create a new collection of fragrances for perfumes, shampoos and shower gels, allowing Symrise’s clients to develop products specifically aimed towards female Gen-Z consumers.

Mapping the consumer behavior of tweens and teens revealed the most ethnically diverse and connected generation to walk the Earth thus far. “Their main influences come from friends, social networks and also from their parents,” says Doreen Bucher, VP Marketing, Fine Fragrance at Symrise North America.

Having grown up under heavy influence of the Internet and smartphone culture, they are hardwired towards innovation and display short attention spans. Nevertheless, they’ve quickly come to realize their buying choices affect other people’s lives as well as the environment, and therefore demand transparency from their brands of choice.

Although fragrances are not among the top priorities for this group of consumers, they still have an important role once suggested. When asked how they would spend US$ 100 and US$ 1000, clothes and shoes got the biggest slice of the pie, but fragrances weren’t far behind. “What’s interesting is that at this age they are still defining who they are in the world, so the way they dress and the brands they choose are of high importance,” says Bucher.

The research also pointed out how most of the 14 to 17 year old girls targeted in the study struggle to express the kind of fragrances they prefer and find it hard to describe them in words. Interviewees vaguely ascertain that they’re more inclined towards “light and fresh, but no too floral” scents. Curiously enough, they also claim to enjoy men’s fragrances, coming as far as using male deodorants because they think they are more effective.

Blurring of gender stereotypes

Fragrance supplier Firmenich, on the other hand, focused their studies on millennials of 16 cities in 12 different countries, including Brazilian capitals Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Recife. The research was made in partnership with marketing intelligence veteran Archetype Discoveries Worldwide and relied on a sensorial methodology.

The study was based on the Jungian concept of archetypes, and pledged to shed light on the subconscious expectations of a generation that is highly active on the virtual world, but passive on the real world. “We needed to fully understand what is behind this behavior, how millennials truly feel and figure out what we can do to help our clients reach out for their hearts,” says Daniela Cunha, marketing director at Firmenich Brasil.

One of the company’s exclusive products to come out of this research effort was the Harmony fragrance, which blends the freshness of the hundred-leaved rose, crystalline musk and velvety incense, resulting in a scent that evokes tranquility and wellbeing. According to Firmenich, the scent also references the current blurring of gender stereotypes.

Amanda Veloso


© 2016 - Brazil Beauty News -

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