Henkel – The Innovation Company
The big breakthrough was achieved with an innovation in 1907: Persil, a self-acting detergent that dramatically reduced housewives’ workload. Since that time, innumerable innovations have propelled Henkel to leading positions in our markets.
And innovation was already a key factor at the dawn of the Company’s history: the invention of the branded product. Because Fritz Henkel was one of the first to sell his products – heavy duty detergent (from 1876) and Henkel’s Bleich-Soda [bleaching soda] (from 1878) – not loose, but pre-packed in precisely weighed quantities at fixed prices in convenient packs of uniform design. All of which are characteristic attributes of modern-day branded products. Even in those early days, “Quality from Henkel” was the promise to customers implicit in this strategy.
Henkel has a clear vision: “A global leader in brands and technologies.” This vision can only be fulfilled through innovation. The basis is a broad understanding of innovation that takes in all business sectors and all functions. For us, being innovative means finding and implementing new and better – even revolutionary – solutions.
Consumers and customers are the judge of success here. They decide whether a new offer really is the long-awaited or superior solution to their particular needs. An innovation is only truly successful when the market welcomes it with open arms.
Strategic innovation management
To achieve this, companies need strategic and longterm innovation management. On the one hand this involves targeted and longterm observation of trends that could be of use to Henkel, such as consumer wishes and future technologies. On the other hand, regular visits by product managers maintain contacts with customers in the retail trade and industry, and with professional craftsmen and consumers. Henkel has introduced corresponding processes in all of its business sectors and is constantly expanding them.