J&J debuts Kenvue as new name for $15B consumer health business spinoff
Johnson & Johnson’s consumer health company has a new name, identity and purpose. Kenvue is a combination of “ken” meaning knowledge and “vue” a homonym of view, the company said on Wednesday.
The $15 billion consumer spinoff with household staple brands including Neutrogena, Tylenol, Band-Aid and a lineup of baby care products is set to become a separate publicly traded company by November 2023.
Along with the name, J&J is adopting a dark green graphically designed “K” as the brand logo. The squared-up rectangle in the first half of the letter is meant to represent scientific precision, while the rounded second half resembling a sideways heart shape is meant to evoke the warmth of care, J&J said in a press release.
In an introductory video, the “K” changes colors alongside its products — turning different shades of blue for Neutrogena and Listerine, then yellow-orange for Baby Shampoo and red for Tylenol.
J&J used a small core team to develop and screen thousands of names before settling on Kenvue, a J&J Consumer Health spokesperson said in an email. The name needed to work across languages and cultures and clear trademark hurdles, while also being distinctive and communicating core brand propositions, she said.
“We wanted to create something that could elevate Kenvue as a modern, digital-first company as well as capture and showcase our incredible purpose in an instant,” she said, adding that the curves in the second half of the K logo are reflected in the products, advising “look closely to note the soft curves representative of our Tylenol and Band-Aid brands.”
The new Kenvue purpose is “Realize the extraordinary power of everyday care” which J&J consumer health CEO designate Thibaut Mongon explained in the press release as relating to “daily self-care rituals add up over time and have a profound cumulative impact on your wellbeing. This is the extraordinary power of everyday care.”
J&J is the latest big pharma company to spin off its consumer health business, following on the heels of GSK and Pfizer’s joint consumer company Haleon this summer. Haleon began trading as a separate company in July, and adopted its own also bright green color in its black and green name logo.
J&J reported 2021 consumer health sales of $14.6 billion, compared to $52 billion for its much larger pharma business. In July, it reported Q2 sales of $3.8 billion for consumer health and $13.3 billion for pharma products. J&J’s third business unit, medical devices, notched sales of $27 billion in 2021 and $7 billion in the most recent second quarter.
The proposed new consumer company name comes as J&J legal battles continue over one of its key consumer products Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder. After years of litigation with tens of thousands of cases still in court over allegations of its talc-based powder, J&J moved to spin out the talc liabilities into a separate company and filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.
The bankruptcy move was initially approved, although is now being challenged by plaintiffs. J&J had already removed talc from its US products, but said in August it will switch to all-cornstarch baby powder products globally by the first quarter of 2023.