Henkel CEO: ‘Streamlined’ company is driving more efficient marketing

Henkel has been undergoing a restructure in its consumer brands division since early 2022, something which CEO Carsten Knobel says has led to more “focused” marketing.

Henkel’s CEO has said the company’s “streamlined” structure is driving more efficient marketing.

The company’s consumer division, which includes laundry brands such as Bloo and haircare brands such as Schwarzkopf, has been undergoing a restructure since 2022, by merging its laundry and homecare and beauty divisions into one consumer brands business unit.

CEO Carsten Knobel told investors today (10 August), that the restructure is driving more efficient marketing.

“Having a more streamlined portfolio enables us to perform marketing activities that are much more focused and also much more efficient,” he said.

He added that the company’s marketing activity had more “focus” than it had in the past. However, he did say Henkel is still on a “transformational wave”.

“I think that it takes some time to take all the decisions and adapt the portfolio in the right way,” he added.

Speaking to Marketing Week about the restructure last year, marketing and digital director Nikki Vadera, said the merger would enable its brands to scale and tap into marketing “synergies”.

Knobel also credited its marketing investment with driving its brands’ equity during an ongoing tough consumer environment. The company increased marketing spend by double-digits.

How Henkel’s business restructure will help marketing create brand ‘synergies’

He said the company had made the decision to make the investment “in order to drive brand equity, not least in light of a fast-evolving consumer environment”. He added that this strategy is “paying off”, citing a 40 basis-point market share gain globally for the company’s haircare business.

It is coupling innovation in its brands with focused marketing campaigns, he said.

Henkel is in the process of “repositioning [its] brands globally”, he said, adding that it has seen some market share losses while it undergoes this process but that this is “absolutely in line” with its expectations.

In its consumer division, the company saw volume sales in the first half of the year decline by 8.4%; however, it did achieve a 5.7% sales increase to €5.4bn (£4.7bn), driven by price increases. It increased prices by an average of 14.1% in the half.

In the second half, Henkel will continue to step up its marketing spend, he added, with a focus on markets where consumers are particularly price-sensitive, in order to support a return to volume growth.