Lewis reveals gentle revamp for Johnson’s

Alison Lewis

Alison Lewis


Industry experts got a masterclass in reinventing a heritage brand when Johnson & Johnson’s global chief marketing officer Alison Lewis spoke at a Palais session yesterday.

Beset by media criticism of some of the ingredients in its baby care products, the firm has embarked on a wholesale revamp of products and image, while staying true to its core values. The relaunch is set for August.

 “We saw ourselves as the protector this champion of babies everywhere. But consumers were starting to see us differently, and our reputation was under threat,” said Lewis. Parents’ fears had been amplified by social media.  “It didn’t really matter that science was on our side,” she said. “We didn’t really react strong or fast enough. The changes we were making were incremental.

A more radical approach was needed. “We asked ourselves what we would do if we were a start-up. This was a little bit scary for us, but it was also very liberating because it allowed us to say we put our consumers at the centre of everything we did.”

The process enabled the team to sum up what Johnson’s was about in a single word – gentle. “'Gentle’ became a lens through which we could filter everything.” said Lewis. “When we got that, everything began to fall into place. Choosing gentle meant that we were always thinking like a parent first.”


Harriet Palmer