In the past, JCPenney has commonly been viewed as a retail store that has struggled to keep up with its competitors. However, JCPenney has started to come back into the picture, with its new and improved marketing strategies. JCPenney’s new ad campaign began when Ron Johnson, former marketing director of Apple Inc., took charge. Johnson plans to completely revamp JCPenneys image by 2015 by taking some huge risks. He draws inspiration for his innovative ideas from his former boss, Steve Jobs. Product, place, price, and promotion all ring a bell, being the famous 4 P’s of marketing. All four of these are a large piece of Johnson’s new marketing strategy, but he also sees the importance of presentation and personality in order for JCPenney to be met with future success. Introducing his plans, Johnson states, “We can change a brand overnight. And we’re going to do that starting 2.1.12.”
With his optimistic attitude, Johnson started off with the alteration of the logo, to a plain red square, connecting to their “fair and square” ad campaign. “We want our pricing to be fair and square,” Johnson said. “If a woman is out of town the week of a sale, that’s not fair.” The logo is just the start of this new campaign; it also involves changes in the product lines, pricing policies, and the design of the stores. But what Johnson has made huge alterations on, are the JCPenney advertisements.
While flipping through the television channels you may have recently stumbled upon a new, JCPenney commercial. They are no longer subtle, but rather funny, colorful, and clear-cut. JCPenney’s marketing coordinators have recreated their commercials in order to be attention grabbing, easy to comprehend, as well as comedic. This past January, the company announced their partnership with the well known comedian Ellen DeGeneres. Involving DeGeneres in JCPenney commercials simply puts fun into the retail experience. Consumers will not only laugh along to the advertisements, but will hopefully easily catch onto the “fair and square” promotional events that JCPenney provides. Instead of frustrating customers with coupons, sales, and rebates, JCPenney stores will have a total of 12 promotional events each year. The goal of this new marketing strategy is to make their JCPenney shopping experience easy and fun, instead of irritating and overwhelming.
The main goal for Johnson with all of these new marketing changes is to completely alter the public image of JCPenney. It has slipped under the radar these past years, and Johnson hopes to place it high-ranked next to other retail stores by 2015. Competitors are keeping an eye on JCPenney, as taking these new marketing risks might just be worthwhile for the company’s success.