Firmenich in India: Changing the rules of engagement with low income consumers


06 October, 2014


Case Study


Firmenich, the largest privately owned company in the flavor and fragrance industry, founded and headquartered in Geneva in 1895, has created many of the world’s best-known perfumes and flavors.

The study describes Firmenich’s efforts to co-create value with its clients to design affordable hygiene and nutrition products, meeting the olfative and taste preferences of low income consumers.

Through a holistic consumer insight initiative, utilizing innovative methodologies and surveys, a cross-functionalFirmenich team was able to develop and implement new ways of engagement at the low income market segment. In partnership with the Naandi Foundation, the fastest growing social enterprise in India, the team trained and coached young adults from local low income families as interviewers. Being part of the targeted communities helped the interviewers conduct non-intrusive dialogues with the consumers. As a result,Firmenich developed a better understanding of low income consumers’ lifestyles, cultures, household dynamics and relationships, patterns of behavior, and preferences. Getting deeper consumer insight is critical in creating affordable and impactful perfumes for products that lead to healthier and happier lives and higher self- esteem of low income consumers.

The next challenge for the Firmenich team is how to best identify, systematize, and evaluate the new business opportunities generated by its holistic consumer insight initiative and how to best capture the new insights in order to bring new strategies to internal and external clients. This is in line with Firmenich’s vision to remain an industry leader in sustainability and to co-create value with its clients.