How does a global consumer brand create value for its customers, consumers, and employees? In today’s episode, we talk to Chester Twigg, the first global chief customer officer at Johnson & Johnson. Chester shares that he was approached for the role because there was an internal recognition that it was a position that could truly add value to the business and the organization, to drive a more global consistency around selling.
There’s a lot of great strategic advice in here for those of you who are improving CX in the consumer goods sector, so I encourage you to listen to the full episode!
Create Value for All of Your Constituents
When Chester stepped into the role, he shares that he knew he wanted to focus on providing more value with their three constituents: the customer (retail partner), the consumer (the shopper), and the company. He knew that he had to think through the following: how do you create the best selling team? How do you ensure that there are consistent systems and processes in place to help them deliver their best every day?
To execute their business objective of providing value, Chester and his team picked 5 areas that were relevant to them. They develop strategies for improvement around these 5 areas under an acronym: RACES, as in “off to the races” to help them remember.
R: Revenue growth management. Determine how to best drive strategy pricing, strategic trade promotion, and assortment portfolio distribution.
A: Accelerate in winning channels. With the understanding that business is shifting heavily into E-commerce, they asked themselves how they could win in this category.
C: Customer team reinvention. Since most of J&J’s business is with big retailers, they have to figure out how to best do business together. How can they create optimal joint business planning?
E: Emerging market excellence. Growth is happening more in emerging markets than in developing markets so how can they reach customers in these new areas?
S: Shopper refocus. Rethink how to work with marketing, R&D, and the supply chain to ensure their products show up well both online and on the shelf.
Chester explains that it was relatively easy for the team to align on these strategies and that some strategies have been tabled for a RACES 2.0 to tackle at a later time.
Keep Employees Engaged and Informed
Internal social networking
At Johnson & Johnson, there are over 4,000 salespeople. To keep the salespeople engaged, Chester and his team have instituted quarterly meetings for updates on the business, priorities, and strategies. There’s also an opportunity to answer questions which can be asked anonymously, which helps leadership stay on the pulse of what’s going on and what people are worried about.
Chester also shares that J&J has a designated social media site called Yammer, where employees can post updates and engage with each other. Chester posts regularly, especially when he’s with customers or key individuals so people know what’s going on. He also updates employees through his blog, Chester’s Chatter which he and the leadership team contribute to each month.
Rethink Training and Hiring Practices
Additionally, Chester and his team spent time improving training within the organization for salespeople. Recognizing that the younger generation of salespeople learns differently, they removed the outdated five-day, intensive “this is how we sell” program. Chester explains that training is now done in bite-sized, Internet-based sessions. This is their way of providing value to employees; giving them access to something when they need it, as they need it.
When it comes to improving the employee experience, Chester also says that at Johnson & Johnson they worked more closely with HR to improve hiring and recruiting strategies. They provided more clarity on capabilities they were looking for regarding salespeople, and also sought to increase diversity.
According to Chester, it’s best to work with HR to get their buy-in for new recruitment strategies by explaining how hiring practices connect back to the purpose of the work, it helps the process move along more smoothly.
What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Then?
“I think a better understanding of my organization and the style, which is always hard when you come in, would have helped me to build capabilities and conference even faster. I mean one of the advantages I had in my previous company having worked there for a long, long time was that I knew the people. Either they had worked for you before or you had peripheral experience. And so one of the challenges was understanding how to best apply situational leadership because I’m a big believer that people should be led through situational leadership.”
About Chester Twigg
Chester joined Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. from Procter & Gamble, where he spent over 25 years in various roles across the world including the US, China, India, Singapore and Europe. At Johnson & Johnson, Chester plays an important role in the execution of the company’s global consumer strategy, developing new ways of selling to maximize growth and value creation within the sales organization.
Chester holds an MBA (Marketing) and a B.COM. (Commerce and Economics) from the University of Mumbai, India. Chester is based in New Brunswick, New Jersey.