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Innovation

Ideas that shape the market.

When Henkel brought Persil on the market in 1907, the company revolutionized laundry day. The world’s first self-acting detergent was free of chlorine and used oxygen as a bleaching agent. Clothes no longer had to be rubbed and beaten to be cleaned – boiling them up once was enough. For the target market, Persil was a game-changer that durably redefined the playing rules. Henkel also promoted the product successfully using innovative approaches, which included carving the brand name into the blue with skywriting, investing in mobile advertising media and inventing the “White Lady”. The first ever German-language TV ad in 1956 was also about Persil.

To this day, timing is what determines whether or not a good idea will reach and convince customers. No other field is quite as fast-paced and changeable as the market for cosmetics, cleaning agents and foodstuffs. The appearance and properties of daily-use products change at frequent intervals. Every modification can win over new consumers – or lose them. Manufacturers try to stay one step ahead and find the answers to various questions: Does the devised product solve a problem for customers, or even fulfill one of their wishes? How will the market develop? Which trends will prevail? To do this, they research new technologies, ask customers about their needs and track social trends.

At Henkel, the way in which new products are created and ideas are incorporated has changed over the last few decades, and continues to evolve. The company no longer limits its innovations to the products on supermarket shelves: Henkel now also works on digital offers and new services. In the process, our employees regularly consult with startups and evaluate new services or potential investments.

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