“Steve Jobs would have called this insanity”

Ron Johnson, JC Penney CEO

On its 110 anniversary, JC Penney brand, led by its CEO, Ron Johnson and its President, Michael Frances, decides to carry out a huge rebrand to boost its business.

This post is about how changing several aspects of its marketing plan, any brand can achieve a fresh start.

Pricing

Its new pricing strategy might be the most remarkable change adopted by the brand. Called “Fair and Square pricing”, it will include three different price categories:

  • Every day: regular prices.
  • Month long values.
  • Best prices: first and third Fridays of every month.

JC Penney is also eliminating 50-cent and 99-cent add-on forever.  For example:

“A T-shirt that had retailed for $14 but typically sold for closer to $6 will now be priced at $7. In a month when it’s a featured product, it will cost $6. When it’s time to clear it out and change colors, it will cost $4”. (Source: http://www.adage.com)

Product

The novelty in this area will be the introduction of a new line from designer Nanette Lepore. You can see more of her work here: http://www.nanettelepore.com

Presentation

“We’re fine with growing old. We’re not fine with growing stale. (…) We’re re-thinking and re-imagining, and if we find that we’ve picked up bad habits over the decades, we are going to leave them far behind”.

Mr. Johnson

In the first place, a new public face, a new logo to represent the company. The frame will be used at JC Penney’s stores as well as in marketing. Morever, in collaboration with Peterson Milla Hooks, (www.pmhadv.com ) JC Penney has created a personalized color palette corresponding to each month of the year. The color will characterize in-store displays, marketing activities and external lightings on stores. This way they will be able to highlight big commercial events such as Valentine’s Day.

In addition, Johnson retailer’s plan will transform the department store into a store that actually has departments. He will also introduce a new store prototype that will be launched in 2014. Mr. Johnson expects the retailer’s transformation to be complete by 2015.

Promotion

The main objective of the advertising campaign is to emphasize simpler shopping through two different messages led by two different advertising agencies:

  • “That’s fair and square” – Peterson Milla Hooks

Simple, playful, American

  • “Enough.Is.Enough” – Mother New York

About how challenging getting a discount can be and how tired you are of it.


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