Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A quick diversion: JC Penney

Can you give me a minute to be design guy again? I haven't been able to be that guy since I lost my news design job in September. I'd thought that side of me was slowly withering away. But something came in the mail the other day that caused him to rear his head once again.

We got the new February JC Penney catalog in the mail. And let me say "Wow!" You've no doubt seen the commercials about the new pricing structure that JCP is introducing. Judging by my Twitter feed, many of you have seen more than enough about it, especially the commercials.

As a business story, that's interesting. And good luck with that, JCP. As a Dallas-based company, I hope that's wildly successful.

What I liked, though, was the look of the new catalog. It's sparse. It's spare. It's simple. The copy that's there is quirky. It's very much like what you see from Apple and Target and Ikea. And I like it. Simple photos of products on a white background. Simple pricing strategy. All of this seems to be geared toward sending a clear message. This isn't your mother's JCP anymore.

These kind of moves shouldn't be a surprise, really. The new CEO, Ron Johnson, was an executive at both Target and Apple. His charge at JCP is to make it more hip and cool. Have to say, he's heading in the right direction.

I'm not the only person who is impressed either. Those in the creative world like the look and feel as well. Check this link. Something I learned. The former top marketing guy at Target was hired by JCP recently. That actually explains a lot.

I'll be interested to see how well the new strategy works for JCP. Because, like I said, it's a local company. What's good for them is, by extension, good for the economy here. And, more importantly, Gina are Penneys people. I'd love to see the company succeed. I like their pants.

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