Every innovation starts with an extraordinary idea. But an idea is only the first step. A leap forward in innovation requires more. It takes an idea that excites – the market, consumers, or our customers. The key to sustainable growth and prosperity are innovative products and technologies that address challenges, bring about change and achieve visions. For Henkel, the development of such products and technologies has always been one of the central challenges and at the same time a key competitive factor.

Making history from the very beginning

Company founder and pioneer: Fritz Henkel laid the foundation for the company's success with new ideas for innovative products, as well as entrepreneurial thinking and action. In its long history, Henkel has launched many pioneering inventions.

Anyone who successfully manages brands over generations needs the right balance of tradition and innovation. This is also reflected in Henkel's corporate purpose: “Pioneers at heart for the good of generations”. It expresses the fact that we want to enrich and improve the lives of millions of people around the world every day with our pioneering spirit, our knowledge, our products, and technologies. Without innovations there can be no progress. This applies both to the fast-moving consumer goods business, where it is essential to pick up on trends quickly and keep an ear to the ground for consumer needs, and to the B2B business, where we work together with customers in over 800 manufacturing industries on innovative adhesives, sealants, and functional coatings to offer solutions and technologies for tomorrow.

Company founder Fritz Henkel

We do not want to rest, because a rolling stone gathers no moss. On the contrary: we want to do everything to further expand our company, both internally and externally.

The freedom to innovate

What does a company need to be innovative? Many things – but freedom, openness and diversity are essential. Innovative strength and the successful implementation of good ideas always depend on people and their environment. A company's innovative spirit is thus a question of culture. One of the best ways for companies to increase their innovative strength is to foster the creativity of their employees – for example, through training in methods such as design thinking, which serve to generate ideas.

Without people there would be no innovations, as ideas arise in interaction with one another. Fortunately, ways of working are changing fundamentally now, making it easier to collaborate with colleagues around the world. For Henkel, it is important to draw on as many different impulses as possible – also from outside. We work in many areas with partners, start-ups, suppliers, customers, universities, and research institutions. Opening up and conducting joint, collaborative research on the challenges of the future is crucial. In this way, we ensure our future viability, meaning the ability to respond proactively to a constantly changing world.

Accelerating innovations through collaboration

Innovation does not happen in a vacuum. Henkel relies on innovation hubs as innovation centers. One example is the Adhesive Technologies Technology Center in Bridgewater, NJ. Here our customers and Henkel experts can tackle production challenges together and find solutions, applying our broad portfolio from sustainable packaging to smart operations maintenance.

The Technology Center in Bridgewater follows the successful concept of the global Adhesive Technologies Inspiration Center at our headquarters in Düsseldorf, Germany. At this development center for adhesives, sealants, and functional coatings, more than 650 colleagues work directly with our customers from different industries.

As a global market leader, Adhesive Technologies develops high-impact solutions through groundbreaking innovations across a wide range of industries. Whether in automotive engineering, construction, electronics, medical technology or the food industry, Henkel Adhesive Technologies' solutions and technologies are encountered everywhere.

Three Henkel scientists standing in the Bridgewater Technology Center holding smart diaper solutions.

At the Technology Center Bridgewater, our Henkel experts focus on co-innovation and customized interactions with our customers across industries.

An open-space salon at the Henkel Schwarzkopf Professional AcademyofHair in Los Angeles

At Henkel’s Beauty Care Hair Professional North American headquarters in Culver City, the #AcademyofHair offers an innovative, multi-branded learning center for stylists to engage with Henkel Beauty Care Hair Professional brands.

Our Henkel Consumer Brands business units includes iconic brands such as Loctite®, Persil®, and Schwarzkopf®. We operate a multicategory platform focused on the core categories of laundry and home care and hair. The platform offers a broader foundation and attractive opportunities to further develop the Henkel portfolio. Sustainability and digitalization are also two of the key drivers of innovation here. Changing consumer trends and needs are at the heart of our innovation approach. Our Schwarzkopf Professional hubs, for example, are located in Los Angeles and Hamburg, Germany and together with the “J-beauty innovation hub” in Tokyo, Japan, provide a global ecosystem across North America, Europe, and Asia for our Hair Professional business.

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Throughout our history, we have developed innovative products, optimized our production processes to conserve natural resources and reduce wastes, and have built relationships with the communities we are active in and our partners.