Rebrand Your Reputation with Promotional Products (I’m Talking to You, jcpenney)

Department store operator jcpenney unveiled a new logo this week, offering the most significant change to the brand’s identity in 40 years. The design features all lower-case text with a two-tone backdrop to emphasize this alteration from “JCPenney” to “jcpenney.” They better start distributing their promotional products customized with the old logo quickly before the official debut of the new one this weekend during the broadcast of the Academy Awards. (jcpenney happens to be the exclusive retail sponsor of the Oscars.)

“Our new logo reflects the modern retailer we’ve become while continuing to honor our rich legacy,” said Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, chairman and chief executive officer for jcpenney. “We’ve made significant progress transforming our Company over the last several years by infusing great style into our assortments, delivering world-class customer service, and introducing new and innovative retail technologies that have made jcpenney a retail leader in the digital age.”

You may have heard a great bit of news recently regarding the company’s so-called “new and innovative retail technologies” that made them a “leader in the digital age.” The New York Times published an article on February 12 revealing that jcpenney, or the online marketing firm it employed, had used deceptive tactics that violated Google guidelines to garner the No.1 search engine result rankings for queries ranging from ‘dresses’ to ‘Samsonite carry on luggage.’

Google has since taken corrective action and jcpenney is now suffering in both its search results, and its reputation.

So it seems that this logo redesign may come at an optimal time for the jcpenney company. Many companies choose to rebrand their corporate identity in order to try and disassociate themselves from a negative public image. Promotional products can greatly aid in these efforts and help to reinforce one’s new identity. Let’s hope penney’s traditional marketing firm knows this.

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