Beiersdorf East Africa : Defining the Future of Skincare

Tom CullumEditorial Team
Tom Cullum - Regional Director Editorial Team

Best known for its NIVEA skincare product range, Beiersdorf are strengthening their market position through innovative research and strong branding.


Beiersdorf is a global skincare company with more than 150 affiliates and over 17,000 employees worldwide. In 2012, Group sales posted €6.04 billion. The company’s international success is founded on strong brands in all the relevant skincare categories: NIVEA in the mass market, Eucerin in the pharmacy segment and La Prairie in the luxury skincare segment. Today – 100 years after its creation – NIVEA is one of the largest skincare brands in the world and available in more than 200 countries worldwide, and market leaders in 46 of these. Further to this, Eucerin is a leading medical skincare brand of dermatological cosmetics; and in the premium segment, La Prairie is a leader in the exclusive anti-aging skincare market. When Group sales reached the €6 billion milestone in 2012, this marked a great achievement for the skincare manufacturer; but Beiersdorf continue to push for greater things.

For over 130 years, Beiersdorf have been dedicated to meeting the consumers’ individual needs and are considered to be the “inventors of modern skincare”. Through Research and Development expertise, innovative products, and strong brands, the skincare giant strives to be number one in their field.

Every day, millions of consumers trust Beiersdorf’s innovative, high quality skin and body care products. Their successful international brand portfolio is tailored to meet the individual needs and wishes of consumers, as well as regional requirements. The ongoing strengthening and development of strong brands is the basis for this closeness to consumers and markets, and a significant factor in Beiersdorf’s success.


Introduced in 2012, Beiersdorf’s Blue Agenda strategy is a key component in increasing growth and reach. It is focused on strengthening the company brands, increasing power through innovation, expanding presence in the emerging markets, and on dedicated employees.

A feel for the needs and wishes of consumers, a disciplined approach to brand management and innovation led Research and Development work have made Beiersdorf what it is today. The company look back with pride on over 130 years of success. However, this success story does one thing above all: It imposes a duty and an incentive to do even better in the future, step by step, and to continue the company’s progress sustainably and for the long term.

With a vision to be the number one in skincare in the relevant markets and categories, the Blue Agenda defines the course Beiersdorf are adopting to face the challenges of the future and in turn, reaching their goals. This strategy is picking up speed as the company further work to strengthen their innovative products and brands. “We are basing this on an open, integrative corporate culture that encourages high performance, and on employees who take responsibility and who think like entrepreneurs. We need to be right up close to our markets and consumers and to be as efficient and flexible as possible. Our history is what drives us forward. We want to get better every day. And we can count on the complete dedication of our highly motivated employees to do so,” states Stefan F. Heidenreich, Chairman of the Executive Board of Beiersdorf AG, on the company website.


Learning from the skin: Beiersdorf’s researchers have been following this guiding principle since the company’s beginnings 130 years ago. Today at the Hamburg Research Centre, over 500 scientists work with deep dedication and great success in unlocking the skin’s complex processes in order to develop better and better skincare products on the basis of this newfound knowledge.

Since the very beginning, Beiersdorf and its dermatological expertise have been synonymous with groundbreaking innovations – even the introduction of Eucerin (1900) and NIVEA Creme (1911) was based on systematic advancements to emulsions which were achieved working in close collaboration with dermatological researchers. Beiersdorf has remained true to this principle until today; demonstrated by the discovery of the skin rejuvenating and wrinkle-reducing coenzyme Q10 and the excellent skin-moisturising properties of the ingredient Hydra IQ, as well as the invention of the first deodorant that protects against textile discoloration or stress-induced perspiration.

Over the course of the company’s history, the broad range of technical expertise contained within the Beiersdorf Research Centre has repeatedly led to methods of analysing and evaluating the effectiveness of skincare products designed and tested by Beiersdorf; becoming industry-wide and the global standard.

The Beiersdorf brands are extremely well-trusted all over the world – not least because they are remarkably gentle on the skin – but meet the needs of all types of human skin, which varies according to skin type, age, or gender, as well as weather conditions and specific ethnic or culture characteristics.


Beiersdorf’s approach to sustainability focuses primarily on increasing their ability to respond to change and establishing a forward-looking culture. The issues that are important to stakeholders have been identified so as to contribute to the long term-success of the business and to help combat global problems. The ambitious 2020 commitments therefore, are designed to ensure that the company are focused on the areas which have the greatest impacts in the company. These commitments give Beiersdorf a clear direction to strive for a better performance:

  • By 2020 we aim to generate 50% of our sales from products with a significantly reduced environmental impact;
  • By 2020 we aim to reduce our Co2 emissions by 30% per product sold;
  • By 2020 we aim to reach and improve the lives of one million families.


With €159 million invested in R&D and 965 scientists worldwide, Beiersdorf’s state of the art research facilities and knowledgeable scientists continue to be a force to be reckoned with. In 2012, they conducted over 2000 studies with more than 45,000 test persons. Regarding future growth, Europe is Beiersdorf’s key market, accounting for 58 of its offices; and the company will continue to develop and encourage talent and achieve wider company goals as a team. At the same time, they plan on building their presence in growth markets around the world in particular in Brazil, China, and Russia. By establishing Regional Development Centres, such as the ones that opened in 2013 in Wuhan (China) and Mexico, Beiersdorf can gain closer insights into consumer needs in these important future markets; where they can continue to create and innovate.

For the financial year 2013, Beiersdorf’s revealed that group sales rose 7.2% to €6.14 million. With this in mind, it is clear that the future of Beiersdorf continues to show signs of further growth and successful strategy implementation.

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