Cotter Visual Synergist

JCPenney Rebranding Fails

JCPenney’s logo, updated in January 2012, will be replaced by its prior logo, along with a new CEO. The 2012 logo was the third in three years. A telltale sign of brand confusion!

The 2012 rebrand involved a new pricing strategy, called “Fair and Square Pricing,” in which there would be everyday prices; month-long values; and “best prices” on the first and third Fridays of every month. The logo was meant to play off the “fair and square” theme (notice the square).

The logos in the image at left show the evolution of its visual brand.

Ron Johnson, the newly ousted CEO, had shortened the company’s name to ‘jcp’ in an attempt to rebrand. Consumer research showed overwhelming support for the prior logo before ‘jcp’.

The rebranding coincided with last year’s loss of nearly $1 billion for the company. Executives are hoping that the return of the former familiar logo will also encourage the return of shoppers.

Stephen Sadove, currently CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue, will join JCPenney after Saks Fifth Avenue’s pending merger with Hudson’s Bay.

How often do companies go through a rebranding when a new CEO steps in? Each CEO sets themselves up to make their mark and rebrand the company as their own. But if you notice, it is often the struggling companies that look to rebranding as part of the answer to their overall strategy.