Before their re-branding efforts JCP was perceived to be a low quality and low cost department store. Their core target consumers were mainly working or middle class suburban women. These women were predominantly stay at home or full time working mothers. They were able to buy brand named clothing, accessories, and home decor, for themselves, their husbands, and their kids, in one convenient location for a low price. Majority of these women were able to find deals and coupons through the daily newspaper. The JCP brand embodied a sincere type personality. Their stores used warm but bland color schemes and had a familiar and friendly environment After the re-branding, JCP has moved from a low cost and low quality store to a high quality and low cost department store. They have been trying to embody a more exciting and sophisticated personality.
Many of their ads use younger models that are very animated and lively. These ads also include bright colors along with more upbeat music. Last January JCP also announced Ellen DeGeneres as the new spokesperson for the brand in hopes of having her bubbly, likeable, and fun personality as the characteristics that would also be associated with their brand. The layout of the stores has also been designed to demonstrate a more sophisticated look. The store floor has been outlined to group the products by their brands in a way that looks like boutique sections. They have also upgraded the lighting fixtures and displays to make the store more visually appealing.
JCP is still very family oriented, but is modernizing their target family. JPC’s new target market is younger, upper to middle class, modern parents and adults. The most recent JPC commercials have a very future retro type theme to them. They follow multiple culturally diverse families and couples in their lively day to day activities. These activities include camping, playing in the park, attending a wedding, even racing down the street. Each of their commercials use bright colors, playful oldies music, in contemporary settings and activities. They are moving away from the average mini-van soccer moms and telling their urban consumers that their fresh and trendy products will still provide a wholesome family experience.
Along with their new look, JPC is still trying to keep their fair and reasonable appeal by incorporating a new pricing and discount strategy. This strategy guarantees low prices everyday along with sales every first and third Friday of the month.
Visually the new logo is brighter, edgy, eye catching, hipper, and simplistic. The new one focuses more on the shape rather than the words or the letters. The new logo looks younger because it short hands the JCPenney title to the simple abbreviation. The font of the older logo looks more slender much like the hand writing of a woman, where the new logo uses more block like cartoonish letters.There is also a contrast in color use between the two. The old logo uses more red while the new logo incorporates the color blue and heavily focuses on the white center color to draw in more attention. I would have to say that the new logo is more visually appealing and impactful since it not only looks more unique but also because it looks familiarly because it is similar to the American flag.
As the Chief Marketing Officer I would first get rid of the new pricing strategy since it does not fit in with the sophisticated brand that the company is trying to promote. This strategy also confuses consumers and goes against the typical discount using behaviors that our target consumers have. There have been negative feedback from customers and the media about this strategy and has resulted in the decrease in stock prices and performance. I would maintain the discount deals which will maintain the fair and low price image that JCP prides itself on and also maintain the new commercial ads, store layout, and updated logo. This is necessary to keep a solidified integrated marketing communications with our target market. I would also try to branch out and obtain contracts with new designers to create unique and fresh labels for JCP.