JCPenney is reintroducing itself to consumers via a new strategy that draws upon the company’s 120-year history to highlight how the brand has become an intractable part of many Americans’ lives.
The new “Make it Count” strategy highlights four key promises to consumers: making fashion accessible, providing emotional and financial rewards for customers, standing with local communities, and treating customers as the company would like to be treated.
“‘Make It Count’ is a recommitment that JCPenney is making to our customers, that we are standing with them as they navigate their lives and their aspirations,” said Carl Byrd, vice president of creative and brand strategy. “Our customers are trying to do the right things for their families and for their communities, and we’re excited to be able to have their back. This is our way of telling that story to our customers.”
The retailer is introducing the strategy through a new advertising campaign. A new 60-second television commercial depicts multicultural families and individuals in a variety of lifestyle vignettes, such as making dinner, lounging in bed and heading out to special events in style. A voiceover emphasizes the company’s 120-year history, suggesting that the company has been a part of American families’ traditions and lives.
“We at JCPenney have believed, if you’re going to do something, do it all the way,” the voiceover continues. “We give 100% every day, because it’s who we are. And who you are too.” The spot then encourages people to “get the suit that lands the job,” “set the table that brings you together,” or “wear the red that brightens the room.”
“For America’s diverse working families and so many of us, the small moments can be the really big moments that mean so much,” Byrd said. “That’s why the creative centers around families enjoying everyday rituals like making music or cooking meals together – because those moments big or small are the ones we hold special.”
The “Make It Count” creative is a departure from the more recent campaigns, which have featured a re-recorded version of the Pointer Sisters hit, “We Are Family.” Byrd noted that the tactics are cut from the same cloth, featuring real, everyday consumers and people. The new spot was also shot on an iPhone for “a natural, real-world visual experience,” he said.
The company will also “lean into sports partnerships in a big, new way,” Byrd said. Beginning this week, the company will launch paid social creative that mirrors search and trends, display ads that feature specific creative alongside relevant content and digital out-of-home advertising.
The campaign is tied to the company’s recent announcement that it would invest $1 billion over the next two years to improve its operations and customer experience. The corporate investment will include enhancing the company’s digital capabilities, including its website and mobile app, with improved search functionality, product details, consumer reviews and more customized product recommendations. The retailer will also improve the in-store shopping experience with an updated look and feel, improved sales tools for associates and stronger in-store Wi-Fi networks for consumers. Behind the scenes, the company will upgrade its merchandising tools and supply chain operations to ensure customers can find the right products for them when and where they want.
“It’s all part of a larger recommitment we’re making to customers to make every day, dollar and date night count,” Byrd said. “This includes a self-funded reinvestment of more than $1 billion to serve our growing base of customers, doubling down on important investments we’ve already made like accessible fashion and a rewarding shopping experience that’s committed to the community.”