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We focus on four strategic priorities: We will outperform our competition as a globalized company with simplified operations and a highly inspired team.

Our strategy is built on the foundation of our corporate values and will drive our successful development in the coming years in order to achieve our long-term vision for Henkel: to become a global leader in brands and technologies. In order to steer the focus of the entire organization toward our strategy and ensure its successful implementation, we have defined four strategic priorities.

Click on the areas of our strategy cube to find out more about our priorities:





We will outperform our competition
as a globalized company
with simplified operations
and a highly inspired team.

tab_item-0 tab_item-1 tab_item-2 tab_item-3
  • Outperform
  • Globalize
  • Simplify
  • Inspire

We want to leverage the full potential in our product categories to gain market shares and thus to outperform our competition.

In order to successfully capture opportunities for accelerated growth and increased profitability, we have segmented our business into three clusters with specific strategies:

  • In our core categories, we will continue to invest in strengthening and expanding our leading positions.
  • In our growth categories, investments will fuel disproportionate growth of existing and new segments.
  • In our value categories, investments will be tailored to maximizing our profit potential.

Strengthening our brands

We will continue to focus on our top brands while further consolidating our brand portfolio. By 2016, our top 10 brands should be generating approximately 60 percent of our total sales. To achieve this, we will expand our global brands and support our top brands with strong innovations and focused marketing investments.

Providing powerful innovations

We will reinforce our innovation leadership with a consistent innovation process. We will focus on sustainability and trends such as accessible luxury or convenience. This will ensure that our products remain highly attractive and relevant for our customers and consumers. 

Focusing on customers

Fully understanding and meeting the needs of our customers and consumers around the world is the key to succeed in our highly competitive markets. We will strengthen our focus on customers and consumers through targeted customer relationship management programs and initiatives. Furthermore, we will continue to closely cooperate with partners along the whole value chain. It will generate further innovative solutions, and deliver greater value to customers in different industry segments. 

We will follow a balanced regional strategy to capture growth opportunities around the world and further globalize our company.

Mature markets will continue to play a major role, but we also intend to further expand our position in emerging markets. These are sure to play an increasingly important role in global economic growth.

Leveraging our strong positions in mature markets

Henkel holds leading positions in the profitable mature markets of Western Europe and North America – we want to take full advantage of our strong positions and the potential to increase our earning power. Therefore, we will increase our brand investment and maintain our cost focus. Furthermore, we will continuously improve our operational excellence in order to respond to the increasing speed and persisting volatility in our markets. By 2016, we aim to gain more top positions in all areas with our strong brands, while increasing profitability.

Expanding our footprint in emerging markets

In Emerging Markets we will “go deep,” for example expand our existing category positions and accelerate growth in countries where we already have a strong presence. We will also selectively enter countries that currently represent white spots on our geographic map. 

We consistently work on improving our global processes.

We will continuously improve our competitiveness by standardizing, digitizing and accelerating our processes. In short, we aim to simplify our processes and strive for operational excellence in everything we do.

Expanding shared services and providing best-in-class processes

We aim to create value in our sourcing processes, by sourcing via global hubs, and further reducing the number of suppliers globally by around 40 percent until 2016. We will improve our structural costs and optimize our global manufacturing footprint on an ongoing basis. At the same time, we will extend our existing shared services, and increase the number of processes handled here.

Driving business transformation through digitization

We are convinced that digitization offers substantial potential to improve our cost efficiency and increase productivity. Our engagement in this area includes digital collaboration and an integrated e-sourcing platform. At the same time, we will continue to standardize our IT platforms, and reduce the overall number of processes to around 800 by 2016.

We are committed to consistently strengthen our global team

In an intensely competitive market environment, we need strong leadership and a highly committed global team in order to succeed.

Strengthening leadership

We have defined five Leadership Principles which provide guidance on how to manage the complexity of leadership roles and inspire our global teams. Additionally, we will continuously progress our training and development programs for employees with leadership responsibilities.

We are strengthening our leadership team, rewarding talent and performance, and increasing the diversity of our workforce.

Rewarding talent & performance

To attract and retain talents globally, we will strengthen our employer brand and continue to concentrate on making Henkel a highly attractive employer. This includes competitive compensation and reward programs that are strongly linked to performance, as well as attractive career development opportunities in different businesses, offering international experience and participation in challenging projects.

Increasing diversity of our workforce

We are convinced that a diverse workforce and an inclusive company culture are key success factors in a globalized world. To capitalize on the competitive advantage which emerges from different experiences and perspectives, we will continue to actively manage the dimensions of gender, the multiple cultural backgrounds of our employees, and different generations working together.

The basis for our strategy was a detailed analysis of major long-term market trends. We identified three megatrends which will affect our different businesses over the next years: consolidation, emerging markets and speed.

  • Consolidation in our supplier, manufacturer and customer base as well as in our competitive environment will continue. Size will become a critical success factor in the future. Consequently, we need to grow our businesses.
  • We expect the shift of growth from mature to emerging markets to continue. As a result, we need to expand our already strong footprint in these markets over the coming years.
  • We anticipate highly dynamic market evolution, and faster decision-making by suppliers, customers and competitors. In addition, further digitalization will lead to changes in our market environment. We therefore need to continue simplifying our processes and increasing our operational excellence.

Financial Targets 2016

bn € sales

bn € Sales in

emerging markets

% annual growth in
earnings per share

We have defined ambitious financial targets for our company. These financial targets are based on organic growth, including continuous portfolio optimization, i.e. small and mid-sized acquisitions as well as divestment or discontinuation of nonstrategic activities. Potential major acquisitions or divestments are not built into our financial targets.

  • In order to maintain and further expand our strong positions in a consolidating market environment we need to get bigger. By 2016, we want to generate 20 billion euros in total sales for Henkel.
  • There is a continued shift of economic power to the emerging markets. We aim to expand our strong presence in these markets to benefit from their growth potential. Our target: By 2016, we want to achieve sales of 10 billion euros in emerging markets.
  • As part of our trend analysis, we found out that speed will become more important in markets with higher volatility and unpredictable developments. To be fast and flexible requires from a company like Henkel to have excellent processes, which translates into higher efficiency and profitability. Our target through to 2016: We want to grow our earnings per preferred share (EPS) at an average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10 percent.