JCPenny’s guerrilla marketing delivers a new brand experience for customers; but is it enough?
Since February, JCPenny has promoted their brand with flashy commercials reminiscent of today’s trendy and modish brands (think Target and Apple), along with an updated logo and name: JCP. The brand revitalization seems to be focused on attracting younger, hipper shoppers—a demographic the brand hasn’t appealed to since their catalog days.
For the holiday season, they’re launching a full blown guerrilla holiday giving campaign called the Holiday Giving Tour jam packed full of experiences that are meant to wow.
- In Langhorne, Pa., the JCP hired lumberjacksto distribute free firewood;
- In Knoxville, Tenn., a blimp will shower small gifts on passersby;
- In Kemmerer, Wyo., the company created a drive-thru tent where customers are given free warm drinks and a complementary car wash by attendants dressed like Santa and his elves;
- In Dallas, TX a tobogganing course will be set up for warm weather sled rides.
While these experiences are most certainly creative and fun, are these tactics just gimmicks to grab attention or are they brand-defining experiences that map to a bigger strategy that will truly shift the JCP brand?
We’ve seen lots of brands successfully revive themselves: Frye modernized their cowboy boot styles to fit today’s broader fashion preference; Levi’s developed new styles to appeal to the modern woman and man.
The difference between these brands and JCP? They didn’t just create some fun advertising; they created an integrated strategy that shifted the entire brand experience—from their products, to their stores, to their leadership, to their marketing.
While JCP had developed marketing experiences that are fun and fresh, I can’t say that you’ll find their products have shifted to align with this new vision. With brands like Target and Niemen Marcus creating compelling brand experiences of their own and great products to boot, JCP will need to do a lot more to satisfy the needs of shoppers.