brand roadmaps

It's No Secret: JCPenney Says 'We're Sorry' and 'Come Back' with Social Media Blitz

Posted by Dale Buss on May 1, 2013 06:12 PM

JCPenney's brand-resuscitation efforts continued today with a digital-era form of a classic corporate move: the mea culpa.

The company launched a virtual apology tour on Facebook, YouTube (watch below) and Twitter to get the message out to customers—those same customers that now-ousted CEO Ron Johnson in large part ignored for more than a year—that the brand is sorry and wants them to come back.

According to Bloomberg, the campaign was developed on Johnson's watch and implemented by Sergio Zyman, the former Coca-Cola marketing executive who will go down in history as the architect of the New Coke fiasco.Continue reading...

brand strategy

JCPenney's Outlook Gets Boost from Soros as it Continues to Roll Out New Products

Posted by Dale Buss on April 29, 2013 01:45 PM

Is JCPenney doing a dead-cat bounce, or is there real life remaining in the venerable retail brand in the post-Ron Johnson era?

George Soros is betting the latter. The famous (or infamous) investor has taken a 7.9 percent stake in JCPenney, a development that immediately sent the stock up by nearly 7 percent late last week. Soros's stake is still less than half that of hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman, who recruited Johnson as JCPenney CEO, and then helped sack him earlier this month. But at least, arguably, Soros is buying low.

Goldman Sachs has placed a bet as well on the possibility that new JCPenney CEO Myron Ullman (who also was CEO before Johnson's tenure of little more than a year) will be able to restore JCPenney if not to greatness, at least to long-term viability. The financier gave the company a five-year, $1.75 billion loan secured by JCPenney's real estate across middle America.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, AP, Coach and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 24, 2013 09:30 AM

In the News

Apple posts first profit drop in a decade.

AP Twitter hack results in brief panic on Wall Street.

Coach prepares for change as Creative Director announces exit.

Lance Armstrong is accused of defrauding US in lawsuit.

BlackBerry brings back keyboard phone as part of rebirth.

Coke launches 61 unique websites for new teen-focused campaign as company's board also undergoes youth movement.

Dell approves executive-retention bonuses.

FedEx fends off rivals for US Postal contract.

Ford sees profits rise to North American record, offsetting losses in Europe.Continue reading...

brands that go bang

Can Joe Fresh Save JCPenney... and Retail?

Posted by Renèe Alexander on April 18, 2013 02:11 PM

If observers of Canada’s fashion industry have learned anything over the last 30 years, it’s this: don’t bet against Joe Mimran.

The brains behind Joe Fresh, which just celebrated its first anniversary of bringing contemporary styles and affordable prices to the US with an exclusive fashion show at its flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York, continues to be a fashion force and is showing no signs of getting stale.

The 61-year-old is currently overseeing a major country-wide expansion south of the 49th parallel. Joe Fresh’s “store-within-a-store” concept opened up to rave reviews in nearly 700 of JCPenney’s 1,100 locations a few weeks ago. Amidst JCPenney's ongoing retail debacle, much of the media attention had centered on now-ousted JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson hitching perhaps his last cart to Mimran. It's obvious that if Joe Fresh and the sampling of other top designers can't pull through with improved sales figures for the chain, JCPenney's days will surely be numbered.

“If Joe Fresh doesn’t work, this could be the worst ides of March since Brutus greeted Caesar on the floor of the Senate,” Maxim analyst Rick Snyder told Business Week. “(Joe Fresh) is kind of a microcosm of what they’re trying to do, and if it doesn’t work, I think it’s going to get really ugly.”

Nevermind Martha—if Joe Fresh can't boost JCPenney—whose shares jumped five percent on Joe's debut weekend—then nobody can. All it takes is one quick look at Mimran’s resume and it’s plain to see—the Moroccan-born fashionista knows his stuff and he’s got the marketshare, revenue and real estate to back it up.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: JCPenney, Facebook, Tesla and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 3, 2013 09:01 AM

In the News

JCPenney slashes CEO Ron Johnson's pay, woos fashionistas with store-in-store bijoux bars.

Facebook dispute over Timeline trademark will go to jury trial; faces questions about new smartphone.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk will personally guarantee car buyback values as company introduces leasing.

A&W introduces Mini Polar Swirls via Vine.

Angelina Jolie opens school in Afghanistan funded by her jewelry collection.

Apple begins production of refreshed iPhone this quarter.Continue reading...


JCP Tries to Turn the Tide with Markdowns, Chic Home Designers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 28, 2013 03:25 PM

J.C. Penney recently resumed its marketing strategy of raising prices, then discounting them on its private brands which include St. John's Bay, jcp and Stafford and Arizona, which generate more than half of the company’s overall revenue. 

"While our prices continue to represent a tremendous value every day, we now understand that customers are motivated by promotions and prefer to receive discounts through sales and coupons applied at the register," JCP spokeswoman Daphne Avila told Reuters.

That means an Arizona crewneck T-shirt with an "everyday" price of $5 now has a $6 pricetag to accommodate a better markdown and arrive at the same price. The move is an effort to reverse a 25 percent drop in fiscal year sales. The practice is common in retail and used by rivals Macy’s and Kohl's.

“The company said that it has now realized that coupons and sales attract more customers and that this is the market trend,” writes Nautilus Investment Strategies on the reversal of CEO Ron Johnson’s earlier "no sale" stance. “Market analysts feel that at this point no strategy change is going to change the fate of the company as a large number of customers have already gravitated towards other retailers such as Target and Macy’s.”Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Adobe, Chipotle, NBC and more

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on March 21, 2013 09:22 AM

In the News

Adobe confirms its CTO Kevin Lynch has left the company for a job at Apple

Chipotle is risking its brand by venturing into the public debate about gay rights, LGBT community says #ThanksChipotle.

NBC to NYT: Jimmy Fallon is expected to succeed Jay Leno on the "Tonight Show" by fall 2014 as NBC struggles with weak ratings.

Aeropostale targets millenials with new in-store #tech

Aldi and Whole Foods to boycott genetically modified salmon.

Apple's plan for augmented reality amidst another lawsuit on patent infringement.

Barclays announces massive bonuses on UK budget day.

BlackBerry denies report that BB10 failed UK government security test

Global airline profits are flying high.

Harvard researchers have linked sugary drinks to 180,000 deaths a year worldwide.Continue reading...


For JCP's Ron Johnson, Joe Fresh Looks Like a Rescue by Canadian Mounties

Posted by Dale Buss on March 18, 2013 03:32 PM

If Joe Fresh could rescue Ron Johnson, the Canadian apparel brand probably would, but opening Joe Fresh boutiques in nearly 700 of J.C. Penney's 1,100 U.S. department stores on Friday might be only the first step in a long line of right moves the Penney CEO must make in order to save the iconic retail brand from itself—and him.

In Canada, Joe Fresh, which is owned by supermarket brand Loblaw, appears mainly in Loblaw stores or in standalone stores next door. Yet Johnson was able to pluck it out of many possibilities as a fresh, edgy brand to occupy one of the first waves of "store-within-a-store" boutiques that are supposed to begin helping JCP escape the consequences of the CEO's strategy for tearing down the old brand in order to build a new one.Continue reading...

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