GCI Magazine

Segments Sponsored by

Email This Item!
Increase Text Size

“Generation Co” and the Future of Fragrance

By: Jeb Gleason-Allured
Posted: November 3, 2010, from the November 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

Originally published in the July 2010 issue of Perfumer & Flavorist magazine.

Symrise has released the results of a large-scale survey of global young adult (ages 16–22) trends, examining “the behaviors of people, their connection with their world, with their lives and, more in-depth, their connection with their beauty brands and products in terms of use and preferences.” The two fold process involved examining social trends conducted in concert with research firm RISC (www.risc-int.com) and other partners, as well as determining fragrance preferences in fine fragrance, shampoo, shower gel and deodorant via 900 door-to-door interviews with young adults in Barcelona, Berlin, London, Paris, Moscow, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

The findings paint a complex and nuanced picture of what it will take to win this influential and distinct demographic. This so-called “Generation Co” “thinks in terms of collaboration, co-creation and above all connection,” all of which is reflected in brand and product choices. “Brands define ‘who I am,’” says Doreen Bucher, Symrise’s senior director of fine fragrance marketing, scent and care division, North America.

So, who are they? The age bracket set by Symrise’s survey represents about 20% of the global population, including 73 million in the European Union and 45 million in the United States. In Asia, the total is a staggering 755 million, 234 million of which reside in India—a country that hasn’t yet developed a significant fine fragrance market. One can imagine the potential for companies capturing even a sliver of these emerging consumers.

This generation, says Bucher, lives in an immediate world of infinite multitasking, which she characterizes as, “‘I want it all right here, right now.’ There’s no such thing as deferred gratification for this group … because they can get [anything] whenever they want. It’s a really interesting way to understand the world.”