Advertising Strategy – JCP

Is it any surprise to anyone that consumers didn’t flock to JC Penney at the start of their new campaign?  What’s truly surprising is the advertising in the first place.  A strategy from some giants in the business — but it looked as if they hadn’t done their homework.

After all, “Fair & square” pricing was their new strategy. What consumers today want “fair” pricing?  We’re in a recession.  Consumers want and expect “bargain” pricing. They want a deal.

Nobody says, “I paid a fair price for this wonderful new product.” They say, “I got it on sale.”

Some prices at JC Penney are fairer than others. A red tag indicates an “everyday” price. A white tag, a “monthlong value” price. A blue tag, a “best-price Friday” price.

But not every Friday. Only the first and third Fridays of the month. And not just on these two Fridays. “Best-price Friday” lasts as long as the goods do.

What’s wrong with this? It violates the law of simplicity. If you want to build a brand, you must keep the premise of the brand as simple as possible.

Penney’s is now dropping the month-long specials in favor of just two options: Everyday low prices and clearance sales. A step in the right direction.  But it remains to be seen whether the new strategy will survive.