Global Company’s Strong Bonds with Open Innovation

Published Apr-30-12

Henkel turn to crowdsourcing for the first time, to generate innovative adhesives packaging designs.

Henkel, Germany

The Story:

Global Company’s Strong Bonds with  Open Innovation When personal and home care company Henkel wanted innovative ideas and designs for packaging of its consumer adhesive products it appealed to the crowd for inspiration.

Henkel’s ‘Adhesive Packaging Design Contest’ was an open innovation call to packaging designers, design students, amateur designers and users of Henkel consumer adhesives to create new designs for adhesives packaging.

The multinational has a continuous process of developing new adhesive systems and their packaging must meet a number of different criteria. Not only must they offer protection during transportation, but they must also draw attention to the products and facilitate their use. These were the principles that guided the crowd in its quest for innovation.

Community Encouragement

To maximize the creative potential of the crowd Henkel set up a special online platform where participants were able to discuss and vote for proposals.

Submissions could be made in several categories including, Adhesive Application, Adhesive Dosage, 2-Component-Adhesives and Mixing Opening and Closure.

At the final stage of the open innovation contest a jury of business and research experts selected the winner, and second and third place positions.

Evaluations by the crowd and by the judges were based on the following criteria:

1. Sustainability: Material, Transport, Storage, Recycle/Reuse
2. Innovativeness: Technical solution
3. Convenience: Health & Safety, Easy to use, Self explaining
4. Performance: Contribution to solution
5. Aesthetical appeal: Attractiveness (for purchase)

Exceeding Expectations

Almost 900 contestants took part from over 20 countries, with 400 designs being received during the six week submission period in early 2011. “The results far exceeded our expectations”, exclaimed Guy Boone, Corporate Vice President, International Marketing & Product Development Consumer Adhesives at Henkel.

“Developing packaging for adhesives is not simple. In addition to the creative idea, both technical knowledge and knowledge about adhesive properties must be incorporated into the designs.”

The three most innovative designs were chosen after two weeks of discussion and deliberation:

Glue Drop – a rubber drop-shape container with a finger applicator that applies adhesive uniformly and without getting stuck to a person’s finger. It was designed by Omar Rivas and he was awarded the top prize of 3,000 Euros (approx. USD $3,900). The jury statement about this innovation read: “The idea behind Glue Drop is very innovative and definitely out-of-the-box. I can tell that this product has the potential to become a favorite!”

Epoxy Vial – a two-component pack that keeps the resin and hardener apart in two separate chambers, until they are brought together by slightly squeezing the pack. The second place winner picked up a check for 1,500 Euro ($1,950). The jury statement about this innovation read: “This design not only perfectly fulfils its purpose – it will also be producible in an economical way. Therewith it combines functionality with efficiency and is a convincing idea!”

Daisy Magnetic – was the third place winner and received a 500 Euro prize ($650). The adhesive is contained in six petals of a plastic daisy and a magnet on the underside can affix it to a refrigerator door. The jury statement about this innovation read: “Because it‘s magnetic, Daisy can be pinned nearly everywhere – it will always be present for use.”

Valuable Exercise

The open innovation contest delivered many innovative designs and concepts, and according to Dr. Johannes Voll, Manager Innovation Strategy Henkel Consumer Adhesives, it demonstrated the value of keeping an open mind when it comes to generating ideas.

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