Henkel / Marketing in East and West

March 2010

Mr Lange, Henkel successfully sustained a traditional East German brand – the Spee brand – through the turbulent period of reunification. You were significantly involved yourself. Tell us a little about how you managed this.

When the Berlin Wall fell and reunification occurred, Henkel immediately started thinking about how to obtain a similarly strong position in the washing, and cleaning agents and detergents market in East Germany as it had in the West. After detailed market analysis using the data available at the time, it was soon clear that the “Spee

One particular success of Spee is that the brand has managed to break into the Western market. How did you achieve that?

Many factors were decisive to success in the West. The product, Spee, itself, with the “Megaperls

Do you still see differences between the sale of Henkel products in West and East Germany? What do you notice most?

Initially the differences between sales structures in the East and the West were more significant, and although these diminished over time, they still exist. To give two examples: in the East we still observe the strength of the small containers over large sized containers and liquid washing agents are more popular there than in the West. What remains, however, is the extremely strong position Spee holds in the newly formed German states.

Thank you very much for the interview!

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