Of course, it’s easy to say this. It is also easy to launch a new brand line into the world because we think it’s what people want to hear and we hope it makes us resonate as the kind of brand that people trust, and want to interact with. But what I believe truly sets us apart and makes us different is that our company has always been based on the relationship between people and innovation.
Our founders, Anton and Gerard Philips, understood this when they created Philips over 120 years ago, bringing light to the world. From the very beginning, the Philips brand has stood for leadership in innovation.
As a child growing up in Eindhoven, in the very town where Anton and Gerard manufactured those light bulbs, I was privileged enough to be surrounded by that spirit of innovation. My father, who was Head of Research at Philips, would come home and enthuse us with the inventions and wondrous electronic starter kits he would place on the kitchen table. My brother and I would look on, eager to get our hands on them, to know what these marvels of technology did, and, when we did, to us it was like holding the future in our hands.
It’s because the relentless focus on delivering innovations that matter in everyday lives is rooted in the DNA of Philips that not only did we help to bring light to the world, but Philips has also taken communication to the masses, made music more accessible, and helped people to live well and be healthier for longer.
Today, we’re continuing our investment in innovation that is personal, relevant and impactful. We invest over €1.8 billion in R&D annually. Our target is to improve the lives of three billion people a year by 2025, making the world healthier and more sustainable. To achieve this, we are building a strong company, fit for the 21st century and ready to grasp the moment, and to ask ourselves ‘How can we make a difference?’ But, on a personal note, I also want to inspire the future innovators, so that they share our goals of creating a better tomorrow for all, and join our company to do this.
When we come together and act in unison, we know we can transform the world. Companies like ours are always best when we are bold, when we dare to change and meet tomorrow’s challenges, and when we use our global ties and local market understanding to improve lives. And this makes us Philips.
I believe that our researched and winning brand positioning will allow us to tell our Philips story, presenting the Philips of today and helping us to build brand strength and preference.
That is why I’m so proud to lead this business and why I believe Philips will continue to deliver innovation to improve people’s lives.