JC Penney: This brand can’t catch a break

Posted by on May 30, 2013

Lately it seems JC Penney just can’t catch a branding break. We recently highlighted their first branding failure with their “Kill the Coupon” strategy in Melissa Gullickson’s earlier post, “Marketwave’s Most Awkward: Best (or worst) branding fails.

JC Penney's branding mistakes.

JC Penney’s branding mistakes.

More recently, the company finds itself taking heat over a billboard featuring a tea kettle that consumers say resembles Adolf Hitler. If the brand hasn’t experienced enough failure this year, PR Daily just added insult to injury by including the company to their list of 10 brands that could soon vanish within the next year.

Though a number of our team members are still loyal shoppers at the store, our professional opinion isn’t in favor of the current brand strategy. First, eliminating coupon usage from loyal customers, then, not clearly thinking through the potential pitfalls of this advertising campaign, this company needs to develop a new (and improved) marketing strategy, fast!

What are your thoughts on the current JC Penney brand?


  1. I have to admit I love a good coupon, when I shop at Penny’s an similar places I feel a coupon in hand is required! It certainly will be interesting to see how JCP evolves.

    1. I agree Nancy! Plus brands should have some strategy in place to reward their loyal customers.

  2. Personally, I find their current commercials that plead with customers to come back to their stores kind of sad. I really hope they can create a strategy that will focus on the brand’s positives and not loom over their past mistakes. JCP- I still love you, but you have got to get it together already!

  3. JCP is cool because of its affordable prices and the variety they offer – this does it for me. I don’t care if people think their products look like certain historic characters or if they bring back coupons. And I know thousands of people feel the same way. I think JCP is fine. People are too dramatic about dumb things – I’m not joining their drama. I will continue to shop there as long as I find great deals. That’s it.

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