It has been less than a year since mega retailer jcpenney unveiled a re-designed logo–the first change made to the mark in 40 years– but they’ve done it again.
The original update, which was meant to signify the company’s “great progress in creating a more exciting and relevant shopping experience,” was met with criticism.
This year, however, with chief executive officer Ron Johnson (formerly of Apple), and president Michael Francis (former chief marketing officer of Target) at the helm, it seems that jcpenney has made up for its alleged brand strategy shortcomings in its 2012 brand marketing campaign.
In conjunction with the unveiling of another re-designed logo– which was designed by San Francisco branding/design firm, brandadvisors and pays homage to the American flag– jcpenney has rolled out a fresh campaign that adequately supports the company’s vision.
The new logo is part of an overall brand identity facelift to promote jcpenney’s marketing initiatives, including a new pricing strategy dubbed “Fair and Square,” and a reinvented in-store experience. Customers may also expect a slick monthly 96-page lookbook, which incorporates colorful graphics, beautiful product photos, plenty of white space and modern typefaces (see below).
Here at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, the news of jcpenney’s new marketing initiatives is particularly exciting. As a long-standing industry partner with jcpenney, FIDM has collaborated with the company in many areas.
Not only do many FIDM Graduates work in various roles at jcpenney from in-store to corporate-level positions, the company also served as an industry partner for FIDM’s International Manufacturing & Product Development program.
Further, FIDM Faculty are using jcpenney’s new brand identity and marketing in the classroom as an example of effective marketing initiatives.
“I will be encouraging our marketing instructors to highlight jcpenney’s new brand identity and vision in class as a fascinating repositioning study,” says Merchandise Marketing Lead Instructor, Patricia Turner. “Their new design is fun, vibrant, clever and even a little patriotic. It should definitely help to broaden their audience and create some colorful buzz.”
Stressing the importance of careful sales planning and follow-through, she adds, “great marketing can only do so much; there must be exciting product offerings to succeed.”
This time around, it seems jcpenney has considered all the details. As FIDM Merchandise Marketing Lead Instructor, Sheryl Marcus, points out, the company “has consumers excited, and has the investors excited,” alluding to executives’ simultaneous announcement to save the company money annually while rolling out costly marketing initiatives.
“This is exactly the type of marketing that should be discussed in merchandise marketing classes,” says Marcus, who has been encouraging her Contemporary Business Strategies students to follow jcpenney’s stock ratings since the launch of the new marketing campaign.
“Johnson is definitely gutsy, and a tremendous risk taker,” she says. “This has the potential to reinvent the department store as we know it.”
From a graphic design perspective, new marketing initiatives even have jcpenney’s former critics applauding.
In an article, jcpenney Nails the American Look, graphic designer and editor, Armin Vit, of graphic design blog, Brand New, states, “This logo has the potential to transform the jcpenney brand from a mediocre mall brand into an American retail fashion icon like Tommy Hilfiger — perhaps not in quality but at least in appearance.” Vit had previously scorned the company for its 2011 logo reinvention.
From jcpenney’s printed posters, postcards, and lookbooks, to in-store marketing and signage, to its social media-savvy Website, and TV spots (shown below), the company demonstrates how a strong branding campaign takes more than just a logo re-design to clearly communicate its creative vision and we look forward to following the company’s progress.
(Read the official press release here).
jcpenney 2012 print marketing
jcpenney Video “Hoops”
jcpenney Video “February”
jcpenney Video “Drummer Boy”
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