J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc. Client Research Project Mary Buttram Kelli Klecan Hailey Lapin Mike Phelan Lauren Moeller
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December 10, 2012
Table of Contents
Executive Summary Background Secondary Research Primary Research Recommendations Works Cited
Executive Summary Background J.C. Penney, Inc. is a department store chain based out of Paso, Texas that services families across the United States. In addition to apparel and home furnishings, jcpenney also provides accessories, shoes, bedding and a variety of services (salon, optical) to clients. Jcpenney just celebrated its 100th birthday, and in January of 2012, jcpenney began its third rebranding in three years of their in-store and online presence. Research Objectives Coinciding with jcpenney’s mixed feedback on its current rebranding, our group was curious to discover the effect jcpenney’s rebranding has on a college demographic. Though college students are not in jcpenney’s central demographic, they have large buying power and a well-established presence online. In order to examine college students’ opinions on jcpenney’s rebranding, we organized a three-tier research project: 1. Conduct secondary research to obtain a deeper understanding of jcpenney as a brand. 2. Conduct a focus group with students at the University of Kansas primarily focusing on brand perception. 3. Analyzing the qualitative responses from the focus group to design and distribute an online survey via social media. Major Findings Secondary Research: Gained background information on jcpenney’s rebranding and changes in leadership of jcpenney’s executive staff. Tools like Radian6 informed us of what social media and mainstream media users are saying about jcpenney brand. Focus Group: College Students are generally receptive and respond well to the jcpenney rebranding, but have no interest in shopping there. Feedback for clothes and styles jcpenney has to offer was positive. Online Survey: The majority of college students surveyed were unaware of jcpenney’s rebranding, but responded positively to jcpenney’s new logo and commercial. The participants gave insight on how jcpenney’s rebranding could appeal to a younger audience. Recommendations After gauging the lack of connection between the jcpenney’s contemporary new style and the lack of motivation college students have to shop for the brand— we as team, Red 5, recommend the following strategies: In a rapidly changing digital world, jcpenney needs to connect with a younger demographic through the web. o Utilize the currently active social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to focus on college students in different ways. o Expand jcpenney’s reach through online advertising by tapping into new tools like Spotify, Pandora and Instagram, which have a higher usage amount for college students. o On-campus campaigning to increase brand awareness. Promote jcpenney’s “wear to work” line of business professional apparel to a demographic wanting to expand their wardrobe as they enter the workforce. 4
Background J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc. is a mid-range department store chain based out of Plano, Texas. On Jan. 25 and 26 of 2012, jcpenney unveiled a blueprint for a major rebranding of the company’s logo, online and in-store presence through the proposition of its “Fair and Square” strategy restructuring previous advertising methods and focusing on consistently low prices for clients (Thomas, E., 2012). Instead of sending out multiple mailings advertising weekly sales, jcpenney changed everyday “low prices,” and started offering large sales once a month. Jcpenney also hired comedian Ellen DeGeneres as the spokesperson for the new brand image. The rebranding has received mixed reviews. Though media analysis at Mashable.com praised the bold changes, jcpenney stock and the support of middle-class families dropped rapidly during the first half of 2012—prompting massive layoffs and closings of several retail stores (Bhanote, S., 2011). Six months before the announcement of jcpenney’s rebranding, a SWOT analysis was configured. According to jcpenney, one of its strengths is its an efficient supply chain. Some opportunities include strategic expansion initiatives and the growth of brands. Jcpenney lacks capitol resources and are threatened by intense competition of similar stores and by the fastchanging fashion trends and pricing pressure. The company’s business focuses on the sale of merchandise and the services to consumers through department stores and direct channels (Financial and Strategy Analysis, 2011). This is a necessary time for jcpenney to take action because it has been almost a year since it announced the rebranding. It is a good time to evaluate its recent campaign and make adjustments accordingly.
Secondary Research Situation Analysis
Company Analysis J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc. is the holding company for J.C. Penney, Inc. In 1902, James Cash Penney founded the company on the principle of the Golden Rule, which is still in tact across stores today in The United States and Puerto Rico (Company History). Jcpenney sells apparel, jewelry, shoes, accessories and home furnishings through its department stores, catalogs and the Internet. It also offers salon, optical, portrait photography and custom decorating services. The company prides itself on providing style and quality at a “fair square price” (J.C Penney Company Inc., 2012). According to the company’s SWOT analysis, it is ranked among the top three retailers in the US with a total of 1,106 stores (J.C Penney Company Inc., 2012). In June of 2011, the company hired Ron Johnson as the new CEO. The following January, the company announced its major rebranding plans to “transform the jcpenney shopping experience by fundamentally re-imagining every aspects of the Company’s business” (Corporate Social Responsibility). The rebranding included a redesign of the company’s logo, reemphasizing the “fair and square” philosophy and a redesign of the stores themselves. The company also brought in comedian and talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres as jcpenney’s new brand partner. After the company released its new spokeswoman, Facebook protests broke out in anti-gay boycotts. Johnson supports DeGeneres who is openly gay and the company’s decision saying she shares the same values as jcpenney (Task, 2012). Although the initial stages of the rebranding officially began Feb. 1, 2012, in-store updates were made in August. Jcpenney also announced the installation of private label shops including Liz Claiborne and IZOD within the department store, which started on Sept. 1 (Wahba, P., 2012). The last week of August 2012, jcpenney’s shares rose 3.7 percent, which is still below levels recorded earlier this year, but up 39 percent from more than a three-year-low reached last
month (Wahba, P., 2012). The finished transformation of jcpenney from the rebranding plans to be complete by 2015 (Corporate Social Responsibility). Consumer/Audience Analysis According to a company profile on Apparel Search, “jcpenney does business with over half of the households in America each year.” Because of its vast array of merchandise and services, jcpenney serves a wide range of customers each year. According to an article in Direct Marketing News, “jcpenney’s target demographic is 25-to 44-year olds, leaning mostly female.” An article in Business Insider says the middle class; middle-America segment comprises the bulk of the jcpenney audience. In 2004 a new CEO took over the company and under him, “jcpenney upped its fashion quotient, launching a number of new clothing lines aimed particularly at middle-income women between the ages of 35 and 54, a core demographic group that the company had identified as underserved” (Company History). Jcpenney is aware of their core demographic groups and has changed their marketing strategies and merchandises numerous times over the years to better reach their core audience. In a quantcast report of jcpenney online activity, 65 percent of people that utilize jcpenney.com are female. The main age group of online users are adults ages 25-34. Household income of online users is $100,000 to 150,00 per year, and 42 percent of users are college graduates. Overall, in an average year, jcpenney will serve over half of American households. However, their main target audiences are females in their mid twenties to early fifties. Market Analysis Jcpenney recently completed a rebranding campaign in hopes of drawing customers back into stores after a sharp decline in sales during the economic recession. Part of the new campaign
strategy aimed towards weaning customers off of coupons and sales events. “Month-long values” replaced sales and coupons to try and show customers that everyday pricing meant lower cost than a sale and a coupon. Despite new marketing efforts, jcpenney sales have continued to decline. Chief executive Ron Johnson said, “We're moving away from the word 'month-long value' because no one really understood that, to calling it what we intended to do, a sale” (J.C. Penney brings back the word ‘sale,’ 2012). Jcpenney customers are attracted to sales and coupons. The economy has put a lot of strain on the wallet of the average American. Removing sales from which consumers have come to expect the thrill of the deal does not appear to be the right answer for jcpenney (O’Donnell, 2012). Jcpenney customers want to feel like they are saving money through the act of clipping coupons and going to sales because they are being proactive in the budgeting of their disposable income (O’Donnell, 2012). According to a Radian 6 report compiled from Sept. 23 through Oct. 23, Facebook and Twitter users spoke with mixed reviews about jcpenney’s rebranding going into the holiday season. Though Twitter, users tweeted words like “wow,” “great,” “love,” “free” and “jobs”. To the left, you can see the word cloud generated by Radian6 that includes tops words tweeted about the brand. One Twitter account, @RETAILERSTOCKS, tweeted on Oct. 23 “Why J.C. Penney is Not Worth Buying” and expressed negative
sentiment. Another twitter user, @KennyKing4, tweeted “J.C. Penney is now called ‘JCP’— maybe they can trick people into shopping there” (Radian6). Mainstream media articles complied by Radian6 expressed more sensitive sentiment to the jcpenney brand. An article on retailerstocks.com analyzed jcpenney’s stock prospects in September of 2012, primarily focusing on the drop of jcpenney’s stock in the second quarter (Radian6). Brand Analysis Along with a major rebranding of store logo and overall retail look, in January 2012, jcpenney hired former Target Corp. CEO Michael Francis to oversee a major redefinition of jcpenney’s brand. In addition to logo and store makeovers, Francis explained in statement how his campaign will focus on better explaining a “three-tier pricing strategy that entails everyday low prices that are 40 percent lower than a year ago; month-long sales that are deeper and are on select items; and clearance sale events or "Best Price Friday" sales (D'Inocenzio, A., 2012). As part of its new marketing strategy, jcpenney discontinued the practice of sending multiple advertisements and coupons in the mail. Instead, it chose to mail consumers a monthly catalogue of low prices. In an article on Forbes’s website, market analysis Michele Clark said that jcpenney shoppers found the “Best Price” value difficult to explain due to a inconsistent comparison to other prices. According to Clark, only “16 percent of shoppers associated ‘Best Prices’ with jcpenney. Furthermore, customers cited bargains as harder to find and fewer aisles with deals” (Olenski, S., 2012). Jcpenney hired celebrity Ellen DeGeneres in order to connect more personally with consumers but faced criticism from the group One Million Moms for “jumping on the pro-gay bandwagon” and for choosing the publically gay DeGeneres as spokeswoman (Couch, A., 2012). The group also criticized jcpenney for their Mother’s Day
adverting showing same-sex couples and specifically its June Father’s Day advertisements, which featured real-life homosexual parents playing with their children (Couch, A., 2012). Later in June, jcpenney released a statement saying Fancis would be leaving the company immediately following a 20 percent drop in sales during the first quarter of 2012. Steve Olenski, brand analyst at Forbes, said in an article for Forbes that this is the third rebranding for jcpenney in three years and was especially problematic for the company’s public image and sales. As of July 2012, the new CEO of jcpenney and former Apple executive Ron Johnson said jcpenney plans on laying off 350 workers from its headquarters located in Plano, Texas and closing retail stores over the country as stock prices for the jcpenney brand fall (AP Wire, 2012). One of the reasons for this rapid downfall of the jcpenney brand is "[A] combination of poor messaging, tampering with the merchandise flow and a slowing of the overall economic environment,” said retail analyst Michael Exstein. The brand future of jcpenney is uncertain; among low stock prices and stores closing the only way to test the efficiency of a rebranding is to see what time will tell. Competition Analysis Jcpenney’s top two competitors are Kohl’s Corp. and Macy’s, Inc. (Company Profile, Yahoo! Finance). Each of these companies is a direct competitor as they are both department stores like jcpenney. Kohl’s was founded in 1962 and is headquartered in Menomonee, Wisconsin. Kohl’s brought in revenue of 18.84 billion dollars within the last year and has 30,000 employees (Company Profile, Yahoo! Finance). As of Aug. 9, 2012, it operated 1,134 stores in 49 states. Nearly half of its stores are in the Midwest and West part of the United States (Company Profile, Hoovers). Kohl’s is considered a discount department store where they sell moderately priced name brand and private-label apparel, shoes, accessories and house wares. The top executives are
Chairman, President and CEO Kevin Mansell, SEVP and CFO Wesley McDonald and Chief Merchandising Officer Donald Brennan (Hoovers). Kohl’s uses campaigns like their ‘Shop to Win’ campaign, featuring world-class athletes (Businesswire, 2012). Kohl’s uses social media like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to engage its consumers. Macy’s was founded in 1820 and is based in Cincinnati, Ohio (Yahoo! Finance). The department store sells men, women and children’s apparel and accessories, cosmetics and home furnishings (Company Profile, Hoovers). Macy’s has bought 850 stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico (Company Profile, Hoovers). The company was formerly known as Federated Department Stores, Inc. and changed its name to Macy’s, Inc. in June 2007 (Company Profile, Yahoo! Finance). There are 171,000 employees working for Macy’s and last year’s revenue was 26.84 billion. The top executives at Macy’s are the Chairman, President and CEO Terry Lundgren, CFO and Chief Administrative officer Thomas Cole (Company Profile, Hoovers). On September 6, 2012, Macy’s held a big event as one of its recent campaigns. Fashion’s Night Out was a “global celebration of fashion” (Fashion’s Night Out). Macy’s uses several social media to reach their consumers such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube as well as its own blog. Macy’s is also holding their annual spelling bee for kids. These events are important because the engage their public and it is a great way to advertise. In addition to Macy’s there are multiple department stores that are direct competitors to jcpenney such as Dillard’s or Sears. In addition to direct competitors like Kohl’s and Macy’s, there are several indirect competitors as well. Stores like Target and Wal-Mart are good examples of indirect competitors because they sell retail and home goods, but they sell food unlike department stores. Anywhere someone can spend money on goods would be considered an indirect competitor of jcpenney
Focus Group-Procedure Methods In order to more fully understand the relationship between college students and the jcpenney brand, we had to collect qualitative data. We needed to determine the brand perception that college students held concerning jcpenney and itâ€™s brands, as well as the specific factors that drive college students to shop at a particular department store. We also needed to find out the current impressions that college students held about the recent rebranding of jcpenney. We decided as a group that the best way to collect the qualitative data we needed was to hold a focus group. Holding a focus group allows us to have an in-depth discussion in a non-threatening environment. Our group held a focus group on October 2, at 5:30 p.m. The session took place at the University of Kansas in Stauffer-Flint in room 104. Six students ranging between the ages of 20 and 22 participated in the focus group. Our professor selected five participants and one participant was a friend of the moderator. Each participant was a student at the University of Kansas School of Journalism. After each participant was introduced and the rules of the discussion were clearly explained to each participant, we began our questioning. Findings The focus group discussion began with questions about the participants shopping habits and which factors they valued from a store during their shopping experience. The moderator asked how often and where the participants shopped for clothing. After introducing our topic, the moderator moved to key questions concerning jcpenneyâ€™s brand awareness and perception. With the key questions, we were able to determine the participantsâ€™ attitudes towards jcpenney and their thoughts about the recent rebranding. We compared and contrasted new and old media
including receipts, commercials, logos and the newly redesigned jcpenney website. The focus group ended with questions that allowed each individual participant to add input regarding jcpenney and the recent rebranding campaign. Overall the focus group session lasted 31 minutes. Initially, we asked the participants how often they went shopping for clothes. While some went shopping every few weeks for various clothing items, most went shopping when the season changed or when they were with their parents during breaks from school. They said that they did not use coupons because they did not like the crowd and the rush that comes along with using them. The department stores they most commonly frequented were Nordstrom, Macy’s and Dillard’s. They valued the high quality of the clothing items and good customer service. Very few of the participants had shopped at jcpenney within the past year. Only one had been inside the store since the rebranding. When they were asked what they thought of jcpenney, one person said, “I think of those fluorescent lights and I didn’t feel comfortable.” Another participant said, “I see it on the cheap end of the department stores.” They felt that a lot of the clothes were cheap and of low quality. Most of the participants stated that they do not go to jcpenney to buy clothes. The participants who did shop at jcpenney said that when they went into the store, they knew exactly what they were there to buy and that they were unlikely to browse through the other products that jcpenney sells. The participants agreed almost unanimously that the most common jcpenney customers were middle class and lower middle class families on a budget. Despite their thoughts of the jcpenney brand, they said that getting a particularly good deal would motivate them to buy something at jcpenney. They were most likely to buy something at jcpenney if they felt that what they were buying did not need to be of high quality. Low prices on basic necessities like towels and back-to-school items were a big motivator for students on a tight budget to shop at jcpenney.
We also asked the participants about the recent rebranding of jcpenney. Each participant was aware that jcpenney was in the process of a brand overhaul and that the company was trying to reach a new audience. They had learned about the rebranding from a journalism class taken in a previous semester. The first thing that was mentioned when asked about their knowledge of the rebranding was Ellen DeGeneres, who was hired as the new jcpenney spokesperson. They also knew that jcpenney had introduced a new pricing strategy that eliminated cents from the price tags. They also mentioned the new logo and thought that jcpenney was trying to gain a more professional image. Our group showed the participants various forms of shopping experience media, including bags and receipts from before and after the rebranding with the new updated logo. All of the participants liked the new logo and felt that it looked more clean and professional than the previous logo that jcpenney had used in the past. One participant mentioned that the new logo reminded them of the American flag. They liked the new thicker paper on the receipts without the clutter of coupons as well. However, some of the participants felt that the new plastic bags that jcpenney used to put customers purchases in felt cheap. One person said that they thought that paper bags were of higher quality compared to plastic bags. Media from outside the store was also presented to the focus group. We showed them a television commercial from before and after the rebranding, as well as the new updated jcpenney Web site. Some liked the new website and thought that the design was much more streamlined and organized, especially with the new logo. It made them want to stay on the site for longer and explore. They thought it gave jcpenney a higher quality image. Others did not think that the Web site made much of a difference in their perception of the brand. They felt that the new commercials were much more appealing compared to the older commercials. The bright colors in
the new commercials were preferred to the white background and flashing sales of the old commercials. The participants did not like all the mentions of sales that the old commercials had. They all agreed that they would much rather watch the newer version. The moderator then explained the concept of the mini boutiques. The participants liked the idea and felt that it would make the jcpenney stores seem less cluttered. They also thought that it would make finding what they wanted much easier and seemed to match up more with the set up in stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom. One participant also mentioned that they would rather spend their money at a store with consistently low prices versus a store that used sales and coupons. Another participant said that if they wanted to buy something that they would buy it regardless of whether or not it was on sale. Overall, the participants in the focus group felt that they were not the target audience for jcpenney and would continue to frequent stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom. They all agreed that jcpenney has done a good job in its rebranding, but it was not enough to drive them into the jcpenney stores to shop and spend money. One participant said, “I still don’t see myself saying ‘Mom, let’s go to jcpenney and check out the rebranding.” They felt that jcpenney was more interested in targeting families rather than targeting college students. The participants wanted to see more things related to college life, similar to the “Room Essentials” line at Target. They feel that jcpenney is going to have to do more in order to get customers into the doors, especially if jcpenney wants to reach a college demographic. Online Survey Methods Our primary research on jcpenney is also based on an online survey and its findings. We felt the method of using a survey would be a quick and convenient way to gather results from a
large population. We constructed the survey on surveygizmo.com, and it consisted of 25 questions (not including additional comments section at the end of the survey). Using a survey allowed us to ask a variety of different questions such as nominal, rank and interval questions that had responses relevant to the research that we were looking for. Because our objective focuses on students who are enrolled in some sort of higher education, we felt that reaching our target with a survey would be most successful by advertising through social media networks. All five of our group members posted a link to the survey on their Facebook and Twitter pages. We found that our followers and friends came mostly from different universities and social groups, making our results representative of a broad, student-based population. Not only was the link to the survey posted on our personal accounts, but it was also posted to the KU Journalism School Facebook page for more visibility. Although our group did not have a problem with gathering an appropriate number of responses, after our first round of posting our survey, we realized our results were somewhat skewed. When we posted the survey link on social media sites, we were clear to include some sort of call to action for college students only. However, 6.9 percent of our initial 145 responses came back as non-college students. These responses did not relate to our research objective of focusing strictly on the thoughts and opinions of college students regarding jcpenneyâ€™s rebranding. After pushing the survey out a second time and filtering out the respondents who were not college students, our data consisted of 167 completed surveys, 65 partially completed surveys and 150 of them were college students only. Findings After about a week and a half of the survey being open, our group closed it to the public so we could review the results. The majority of our respondents were females compared to 23
percent of males that chose to take part in the online survey. Our group found this as acceptable because jcpenneyâ€™s target demographic is mostly female. Our results were filtered so it only included college students, close to 65 percent reporting to have at lease some college. Our survey included questions regarding college studentâ€™s shopping habits as well. In order of importance, we found that the overall rank of factors that go into college students shopping purchases included price, style and quality, respectively. Brand had the lowest rank in the results for this particular question. Similarly in the ranking system, wide selection of available products ranked highest in factors that go into college studentâ€™s shopping choices and store display ranked last amongst three other options. An important question that we analyzed was how these college students ranked jcpenney amongst other department and retail store. Jcpenney ranked fourth place out of a total of six listed stores that are similar in store selection and affordability. Target ranked first overall and Sears ranked last in sixth place. From these results, our group summarized the bulk of our survey respondents as current college students who do not shop often, but when they do, are motivated by price and wide selection of available products the most.
One major finding was that over half of our respondents who were college students were unaware of jcpenney’s recent rebranding as of January 2012. How could respondents’ initial opinions be altered so they would be more inclined to visit the stores or jcpenney.com if they had no reason to believe it would be different? Our group came to the conclusion that having a solid awareness of jcpenney’s rebranding would create more interest and curiosity for college students to shop or browse through the store’s selections. When we asked survey respondents how they heard of the rebranding, again, the majority reported not being aware of it. However, about 30 percent said they knew of the rebranding through traditional advertisements, including television commercials and banners. This leads to the next finding in our survey research analysis: the effectiveness of the rebranding. Jcpenney’s rebranding consisted of two major parts. The company promised in-store changes such as the boutique-like set ups and sales promotions rather than couponing all in
a “faire-square” price range. These two characteristics were supplemented by new television commercials, a new spokesperson (Ellen DeGeneres) and a new jcpenney logo. In the survey, we asked questions regarding opinions on one of jcpenney’s newer commercials, the new look of the logo, Ellen DeGeneres and if these new aspects of the brand would make them more inclined to visit jcpenney stores or jcpenney.com. The general results for each of these questions were positive; the majority of the respondents liked the commercial and the new logo, approved of Ellen DeGeneres and were, for the most part, more inclined to visit the website and stores after seeing these factors of the rebranding. Because jcpenney’s rebranding involved tactics relevant to a younger audience such as being more modern and streamline, it made sense to our group that the positive feedback was higher than the negative. However, our group did not want to ignore those respondents who did not think too fondly of some of the rebranding aspects. How would jcpenney reach other college students that were not impacted by the rebranding? After analyzing all of the survey results, our group took away that jcpenney’s rebranding was successful. The company did everything in order to increase brand awareness and perception and even potentially sales. In the survey, we asked if
after learning more about jcpenney’s rebranding, how likely the respondents were to recommend jcpenney to a friend. Even though 33 percent of respondents felt that they were likely to recommend the company, 36 percent chose “neutral” as their answer. From our Cross Tabulation results, we found that the majority of positive responses to jcpenney’s rebranding came from a female demographic. About 45 percent of females reported saying “yes” to knowing about the rebranding while 54.8 percent said they were unaware. However, of all the people who said “yes” to the question overall, 82.5% were female. In addition to having knowledge of the rebranding awareness, the reports from the Cross Tabulations gave us specific feedback from rebranding aspects as well. For example, after viewing a commercial of jcpenney’s rebranding, 80.6 percent of the respondents that enjoyed the commercial were women. Only 6.1 percent of the total amount of female respondents disliked the commercial. When studying the Cross Tabulations responses from males, the majority agreed or strongly disagreed that the look of the new logo was modern and streamline. An interesting finding was 30.6 percent of the males responded neutral if the logo appealed to them or not. Having in mind that jcpenney’s core target audience is females, it makes sense that this statistic came out to what it is. Whether or not the success of jcpenney’s rebranding impacts college students, both male and female, is a bigger question to tackle.
Recommendations Our jcpenney survey yields impressive research. From those results, we were able to infer and analyze possible recommendations for jcpenney in its rebranding strategies. For example, we found that more people hadn’t heard of jcpenney’s recent rebranding than had. This in itself is very telling for the future of jcpenney. The company needs to continue to spread the word about the new brand image and we believe that we can offer a few suggestions that could potentially increase awareness for new and returning customers. The results also show that college students value style and price over brand or quality when making purchases. College students also agree that they are more inclined to visit jcpenney after viewing the new commercial compared to the older advertisements. This is valuable information when analyzing the most productive process to target college students. An overall theme that our group suggested was using all kinds of social media to involve college students. Nowadays, our world is technologically savvy, and we feel as though college students would be more likely to shop specifically at jcpenney if it were to increase its social media presence. Jcpenney has an active Twitter account. However, to be top of mind for college students, we recommend incentives for following jcpenney’s Twitter account. This will hype awareness, promote and encourage students to visit the store to reap his or her benefits. In addition, jcpenney has a strong Facebook page, but it should advertise with Facebook banners because the site will filter information for students who are in college and like to shop. The results also show that students are more inclined to shop if they have a coupon. While jcpenney’s new campaign is fresh, students still want some kind of reason to visit the store. Coupons are not necessarily the only way to bring college students into the store, but by finding another way to offer incentives, it can target college students more productively. Another idea we recommend is creating an
Instagram account. This would be used to showcase different outfits created from different brands and styles offered at jcpenney. The instagram could spotlight different individuals wearing clothing from jcpenney or shopping at the store in order to further personalize the strategy. Social media networks are not the only way to connect with this particular target market. On-campus motivation and other forms of advertising are important as well. On the University of Kansas campus, there are many Campus Representatives for different organizations and companies such as Vince Cumoto, Pink and Microsoft. This could be a way for jcpenney to directly connect with individuals in college and hype awareness on campus. Sweepstakes are another tactic to use when wanting to gain participation and support of an organization. Right now, jcpenney is doing its button campaign where customers collect different buttons with sweepstakes codes on the back. This motivates customers to visit the store and redeem their codes in order to win different prizes. This is a great campaign that could easily work on a college campus as well. Sweepstakes are an effective way to decrease physical coupons, yet continue to amp up awareness. Jcpenney should advertise on online music applications like Spotify and Pandora because they are free devices of which students are prone to using. Many students prefer to listen to music through online applications like such because there is a wide variety of free music as well as personalized radios. These programs are well liked among students and are a growing industry. Along with catering to college students with the placement of jcpenney advertisements, we recommend creating a clothing line specific and relevant to them as well. Jcpenney should further promote their wear-to-work clothing line, targeting college students who are looking for
professional clothes for student jobs, internships and future careers after graduation. This demographic will soon be young professional and could utilize jcpenney to build their professional wardrobe. There are many more ideas and suggestions, but for college students in particular, our group wanted to focus on the use of social media and increasing awareness for college students. Based off of the results of our findings, it was obvious that jcpenneyâ€™s presence isnâ€™t the problem; it is the fact that they are not catering to college students or offering incentives or a specific call-to-action for students to visit the store. We want to hype up involvement on college campuses and persuade students that jcpenney is a great place to shop.
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Published on Jan 15, 2013
After a semester of research, I evaluated the success of jcpenney's 2012-announced rebranding through focus groups, an online survey and ana...