Case study


Working together better


Founded in 2003, Symrise is a global supplier and manufacturer of fragrances, flavourings, raw materials and active ingredients for the perfume, cosmetics and food industries.


Originally the result of a merger between Haarmann & Reimer and Dragoco, Symrise was facing an IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. We were tasked with creating a truly unified brand in time to support the initial public share offering.



A full analysis of the business and wider context unearthed a number of discoveries:

1. Many employees had been resistant to integration and change, so the business was being held back by a great deal of internal conflict as a result.

2. The market was rapidly evolving, with customers demanding innovative, service-orientated products quickly and efficiently. The organisation’s ‘siloed’ approach made this more challenging to fulfil.



We introduced the idea of ‘Always inspiring more’ as a key strategic thought to drive new ways of thinking throughout the organisation. Teams were encouraged to combine people, processes and technologies in new ways that would generate exciting original ideas to revitalize the brand’s portfolio.

The resulting innovations included a paint created for Nippon Paints that gave off the aroma of freshly-baked bread as it dried, edible cosmetics for L’Oréal, plus a range of drinks for Diageo that used special encapsulation to change colour when shaken.

The proposition was brought to life by introducing three categories of imagery:

The ‘power of human senses’ employed black-and-white photography of body parts, juxtaposed against stylized colour images representing various ‘sensations’ being experienced, such as sourness or a tingle down the spine.

Rather than being represented through refined oils or powders, raw ingredients were captured in their original or natural states, generating beautiful, still life images to serve as product photographs.

Finally, the lens was turned on the employees themselves. Positioning them as brand heroes, new portait photography demonstrated the integral roles they played in the brand’s success. The system was brought together across a range of applications and included a full internal communications program. 

Bus Stop


‘Always inspiring more’ was later adopted as the company’s new strapline. The IPO turned out to be Germany’s largest public offering that year, and today Symrise is one of the top 4 fragrance and flavour companies in the world by market share.

Box and Cards