Full disclosure: I started my career at Johnson & Johnson in brand management and then I worked on Tylenol on the agency side for a very long time. Although I don’t work on the brand anymore, I’m still a lover and a believer. When my children were young, I gave them Children’s Tylenol when they needed it.
But as a brand, Tylenol certainly has had more than its fair share of public crisis. The tampering back in the early 1980′s, FDA scrutiny, headlines about liver safety, and the most recent recall of the children’s products is a lot for one brand to take.
This latest crisis with the children’s products is pretty big. If you haven’t read about it, you can get the details here on the company’s recall website.
Johnson & Johnson “wrote the book” on how to handle such a crisis, and has long been praised for how it communicates with its constituents and how it acts with such authenticity and speed.
So when a reporter from AdWeek called me a few weeks ago and asked me the question “Will Tylenol Survive?”, I myself had an authentic and quick response. Over time, yes.
Not many brands can survive such a recall and so much negative press. But Tylenol has such a deep, authentic brand equity that spans decades of nurturing, caring, and proper conduct, that I have to believe that when this is behind them, people will welcome the brand back into their homes.
You can read the AdWeek article here, and read my response.
What’s your experience? Jim