JC Penney was originally started by James Cash Penney in 1902, when it was first opened as a dry-goods store named “The Golden Rule” in Kemmerer, Wyoming. Today, the company is a publicly traded company consisting of over 11,000 department stores spread out across The United States and Puerto-Rico, predominantly in Shopping Malls.
Providing customers with middle-class merchandise and affordable items without the high-end brand influence. Many of the brands inside JC Penny are internally designed and produced.
They have announced a new transformation where they anticipate becoming “America’s favorite shopping destination for discovering great styles at compelling prices. The complete brand overhaul includes a new logo which brings back a new “Square” design that was reminiscent in the previous logo design which was often compared to Gap’s logo redesign marketing disaster. The new redesign comes less than a year after the previous design. Not to mention the Multi-Billion dollar companies previous design was designed by a 3-year graphic design student, Luke Langhus.
The logo was created by Brand Advisors of San Francisco, under the Creative Direction of Tom Suiter. For Marketing, JC Penny is working with Ad Agencies Peterson Milla Hooks and Mother, having recently fired Saatchi & Saatchi in December. The logo was signed off by Ron Johnson and President Michael Francis.
The new icon includes an American Theme reminiscent of Tommy Hilfiger but not overly similar. The word “JC Penney” has been removed and been replaced by a lowercase, Gotham “jcp” which doesn’t read entirely well.
The logo overall feels a little uninspired and in the box, not enough of a change from the previous “Square” design. The application process in my opinion was a nice move though. Using the Square to their advantage putting 3D versions of it in their store and highlighting products with it. Also bringing on board a new spokesperson, Ellen DeGeneres this application could help save the design, similar to what we saw in the recent DC Comics Rebrand.
The new CEO of JC Penney is taking some huge risks. Ron Johnson plans to completely transform the company by 2015. And a lot of this is inspired by his former boss, Steve Jobs. He’s already brought on former colleagues from Apple and Target, which means he’s planning to make some high-level structural changes to the brand. He’s also planning to bring his own version of the Apple Genius Bar — a concept he created as the SVP of retail for Apple — to J.C. Penney, by having trained employees who can offer advice and tips, reports Dealbook.
A logo redesign twice in one year can mean one of two things, the brand has completely lost it’s own identity, or they recognize the error of their ways and are quickly back on their feet to make up for their mistakes. In this case it appears that the motivation and planning is strong, but the logo to back it up is not the strongest foundation. It’s not a far cry from its previous logo, which was widely criticized, so the move is risky. Also comparing a technology company to a clothing retail company is either genius or a slippery slope, time and customer reaction will tell.
Here’s a snippet from their recent Press Release:
- Launching a new jcpenney brand identity, new logo, new look and Ellen!
In celebration of the complete transformation of its shopping experience, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Francis gave an overview of the new jcpenney brand identity. It includes:
- The new jcpenney logo, which combines the elements that have made jcpenney an enduring American brand, by evoking the nation’s flag and jcpenney’s commitment to treating customers Fair and Square. The square frame imagery will be evident throughout all of jcpenney’s marketing, to remind customers to frame the things they love.
- New brand marketing to showcase great product in an exciting new way, to solidify jcpenney’s relationship with its loyal customers and entice new ones. This includes the new monthly book, beginning next month, that millions of Americans will receive, which includes 96 pages of highlights for that month, as well as an entirely new look for jcpenney stores in terms of signage and presentation.
- Welcoming Ellen DeGeneres back to jcpenney, as jcpenney’s new brand partner. Ellen began her career in her teens as a jcpenney associate and now, as one of the country’s most beloved television personalities, she will help bring the new jcpenney experience to life in her own fun-loving, sneaker-wearing, laugh-making way.