Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2011 (Revised May 2012)

Reckitt Benckiser: Fast and Focused Innovation

by Rebecca M. Henderson and Ryan Johnson


Since its 1999 merger Reckitt Benckiser (RB), a global consumer goods company, led by its CEO Bart Becht, RB developed a reputation for rapid product innovation and industry leading profit margins. RB's stated strategy was to focus on its Powerbrands and high growth categories and to nurture the Powerbrands with innovation and roll them out globally. The Powerbrands had steady double digit growth year over year, attracted a devoted customer base and typically grabbed high margins. This case examines the Powerbrands strategy, RB's devotion to fast and focused innovation and its execution of that strategy.

Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Global Strategy; Innovation Leadership; Leadership Style; Growth and Development Strategy; Brands and Branding; Product Development; Performance Improvement; Commercialization; Consumer Products Industry;


Henderson, Rebecca M., and Ryan Johnson. "Reckitt Benckiser: Fast and Focused Innovation." Harvard Business School Case 311-116, June 2011. (Revised May 2012.)