“Fragrance is the soul of a product”

At the end of March, Beiersdorf employees from Marketing and Research & Development allowed themselves to be inspired through all of their senses by Beiersdorf’s most important strategic partner in the realm of scent, Givaudan. Givaudan presented societal trends, fragrance innovations and specific concepts for new NIVEA products at the internal Open Innovation event “Care for the Future” in the Research Center in Hamburg.

Important factor in consumers’ decision to buy

woman smelling on one fragrance bottle
Fragrance is the soul of a product

"Fragrance is the soul of a product and especially in cosmetics and skin care, one of the most important factors in consumers’ decision to buy”, Givaudan representative Angello Kostandas said in opening the presentation and continued: “Fragrance is like a powerful magician: it connects us to our feelings and our memories. Studies show that after six months only about 25% of people can remember a picture, but 82% can remember a specific fragrance. Even ‘lost’ memories can be activated with fragrance.”

Global megatrends and innovation ideas

visitors studying one sample fragrance
Inspiring product samples

In an hour-long presentation the Givaudan team introduced global megatrends in societal developments that can be translated into current and future fragrance and cosmetics trends. As a treat for the Beiersdorf audience, the perfume experts presented specific innovation ideas for NIVEA corresponding to each of the trends discussed. These were then immediately tested by the participants in product samples.

Active discussions at the in-house convention

Anja Göppel (r.), Beiersdorf, and Verena Nikoleyczik (left)
Anja Göppel (r.), Beiersdorf, and Verena Nikoleyczik, Givaudan, organized the event

“I’m happy with the first-class presentation by Givaudan. Our partner provided us with great, thought provoking ideas and I’m sure that we will be able to realize other projects together out of this first-class pool of ideas”, says Anja Göppel, Head of Beiersdorf Fragrance Management and the person who set up the event together with Verena Nikoleyczik, Key International Account Manager of Givaudan. Verena Nikoleyczik also had good things to say, “For both sides, this event was really worth it. It was impressive how actively the Beiersdorf employees participated in the discussions with our team at the following in-house convention about the trends and fragrance innovations that we presented.”

Open Innovation at Beiersdorf 

Beiersdorf has always been open to outside innovative ideas that provide a new impulse. For a few years the integration of external knowledge into Research & Development has been a stronger emphasis than ever before. In January 2011, Beiersdorf started the international open innovation initiative Pearlfinder in order to further increase its ability to innovate and to confidentially integrate external partners. Already in October 2011, the company received the “Best Open Innovator Award” from the leading German language business newspaper Handelsblatt for this innovation strategy.

Since then, Pearlfinder has developed into a global network with 270 registered international partners from diverse industries and since the re-launch of the platform in December 2014 has made it even easier to submit innovation ideas and to get in touch with Beiersdorf researchers. In order for the initiative to continue to develop positively, open innovation activities such as “Care for the Future” event will be continuously expanded. Another example is the Beiersdorf Innovation Pitch at the annual international cosmetics trade fair “in-cosmetics” at which external partners from all over the world have been able to present innovative ingredients and submit concepts since 2014.


The Pearlfinder online platform can be found here.



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