Band-Aids and Tylenol will have a new name on their packaging
CNN — We’ve all heard of Band-Aid, Tylenol, Benadryl and Johnson baby powder.
We never heard of the newly coined word Kenvue.
But Kenvue will be the new parent company for these well-known consumer health brands next year.
Johnson & Johnson, the owner of these labels, is in the process of splitting into two companies, one focused on medical devices and drugs, the other on consumer health products.
J&J is keeping its recognizable name for its largest pharmaceutical business unit, but was to come up with a new brand identity for the smaller consumer arm.
The company said on Wednesday it had landed on Kenvue, a combination of “Ken”, an English word for knowledge mostly used in Scotland, and “vue”, a reference to sight. It’s pronounced ken-view.
“The unveiling of the Kenvue brand is a defining moment for our stakeholders and an important part of the planned separation,” said Thibaut Mongon, who has been named CEO of the new company, which also includes Motrin, Listerine, Neutrogena and d other brands. The split is expected to be completed next year.
A J&J spokesperson said a small team worked with a naming agency to develop and screen thousands of names for the new company. J&J wanted the name to be distinctive and memorable. It also had to clear trademarks in more than 100 markets and “pass linguistic and cultural checks in 89 languages and dialects.”
In addition to the new name, the company has a new logo and a new design. Kenvue appears in white letters on a green background, and the letter “K” includes a heart on the side.
It’s no coincidence that Kenvue has no meaning or story, said Jay Jurisich, CEO and creative director of brand naming agency Zinzin.
Companies often look for names that are perfectly clean from any controversy.
The Kenvue name reflects J&J’s desire for the new consumer company identity to take precedence over well-known brands such as Band-Aid. It is a strategy similar to that of other consumer products conglomerates such as Unilever, owner of Dove and Hellmann’s, and Procter & Gamble, owner of Bounty and Charmin.
“It’s really just a holding company behind all these other brands,” Jurisich said. “They want a name that will fade into the background and the brands will pop out.”
Corporate name changes are a common tactic for a variety of reasons, such as spin-offs, mergers and acquisitions, or new parent companies.
Companies involved in the PR crisis also changed their names to remove any negative association with their previous brand names, such as Philip Morris, which changed its name to Altria in 2001. Then there were brands that changed its name to signal changes in strategy, such as Dunkin’ dropping “Donuts” in 2018.
This is not the first time that two words have been combined in the name of a new company.
In 2012, Kraft Foods split its food brands such as Oreo into Mondelez from a combination of “monde”, derived from Latin for “world” and “deliz”, short for “delicious”.
The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Company. Discovery. All rights reserved.