Talent Champion – Melinda Johnson

Talent Champion Spotlight

2023 Talent Champion - Melinda Johnson

Melinda V. Johnson
Senior Director, Marketing
Henkel Consumer Products

Melinda V. Johnson is a senior marketing and strategy executive with 15+ years of building strong consumer brands and a passion for serving the needs of diverse, multicultural consumers and under-served populations. As a catalyst for growth and purpose-driven leadership, Melinda has brought her expertise in the beauty and personal care space to companies like Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oréal USA, and most recently Henkel Consumer Brands.

Currently, Melinda is the Sr. Director of Marketing for Henkel’s North America Retail Hair business leading brand and go-to-market strategy, integrated marketing communications, and P&L management for the Schwarzkopf and göt2b brands. Prior to joining Henkel, Melinda was an AVP of Marketing at L’Oréal where she led omnichannel marketing strategies for the L’Oréal Paris brand at Target, as well as the business lead for the Softsheen-Carson portfolio of beauty & grooming brands designed for Black women & men. Melinda started her career at P&G where she focused on product innovation, global market expansion, strategic planning, shopper marketing, and advertising development across iconic brands like COVERGIRL, Clairol, Pantene, and Frédéric Fekkai and earned multiple ANA awards and a Gold Effie during her 9 year tenure.

What prompted you to get involved with the AEF?

I’m personally passionate about making the road easier for the next generation coming behind me, so I’m attracted to the AEF mission around educating and inspiring the next generation of talent.

Why are you passionate about the future of the industry?

The marketing function is ever evolving and a reflection of our consumers’ media & engagement habits, as well as a function of how technology has infiltrated every aspect of our lives. This constant level of change & push to reach consumers everywhere with relevant, brand messaging is what excites me about the future!

What is the best career advice you've ever received?

The importance of managing your P.I.E. (Performance, Image, Exposure) as you steer your career.

Why do you feel it is so important to inspire the next generation of diverse talent?

As a Black woman in brand marketing, it is critical for other up & coming BIPOC talent to see someone who looks like them in positions of leadership for inspiration, coaching, and critical mentorship & sponsorship that is often elusive for people of color. And I am quite passionate about making the road easier for those travelling behind me!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I most enjoy building a brand that is purpose-driven, innovative, inclusive, and meets consumers more pressing needs… and of course seeing the fruits of all my labor in the KPI results!

What advice would you give to students as they consider entering the industry?

Try new things and be willing to take a risk and even potentially fail… this is where growth, both business related & personal, come from!

2023 Talent Champions

"Our future marketing and advertising leaders are not just looking for a job, they are looking for a meaningful career that will make a positive impact on society."
— Gord McLean, President and CEO at ANA Educational Foundation