J.C. Penney's latest marketing gambit: Apologizing
The repentent retailer goes straight to customers and begs forgiveness for messing up.
Apologizing is rarely easy, and it's harder still for companies that have made major mistakes. But J.C. Penney (JCP) has decided its best approach to damage control, after a notoriously difficult year-and-a-half under former CEO Ron Johnson, is to come out and directly say "we're sorry" to its customers.
The retailer fired Johnson last month and rehired former CEO Myron Ullman, after Johnson's attempts to take the company in a different direction ran into a brick wall. Johnson wanted to revamp Penney's product lines, downsize staff and do away with its long-standing coupons, discounts and bargains.
But those changes backfired dramatically. They ended up alienating many of the store's long-time clientele while destroying employee morale. The company's struggles became headlines -- with revenue falling 25% in a single quarter and share prices declining around 60% in a year.
And now, as the dust appears to be settling, the company is appealing directly to consumers.
"It's no secret, recently J.C. Penney changed," says a new ad the company posted on YouTube. "Some changes you liked and some you didn't, but what matters from mistakes is what we learn," the voice-over continues. "Come back to J. C. Penney, we heard you. Now, we'd love to see you."
Some customers seem willing to forgive and forget. "It's nice to see the old logo again," says one recent comment on retailer's YouTube site. "Just bring back coupons and decent sales on Nike (NKE) apparel and I will return!"
But others are less convinced. "You know, when Domino's (DPZ) admitted they made a mistake, they gave us a reason to go back: A better product," said another YouTube commenter. "'We're listening', with zero incentives, is just an empty phrase."
Analysts say the new campaign may heal some wounds with disgruntled Penney customers, but they'll also want to know where the company is heading.
"When you are in a free fall, you sometimes need to call a time out and say, 'Wait a second. We're going to get this under control,'" Allen Adamson, managing director of branding firm Landor Associates, told the Associated Press. "The answer may be further down the road as to why they come back."
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
You don't have to sign up for Medicare. The catch? If you don't enroll when you're first eligible, you could pay some serious financial penalties later in life.
- Student loan debt climbs for 5th year in a row
- Plans revived for 'floating city' of 50,000 people
- Homeowners insurance: Bountiful coverage for bad cooking
- 3 stocks for the 3-D printing revolution
- Why restaurants are adding tablets to the tables
- America's greatest export is its debt
- True test for Obamacare: Will it make US healthier?
- Who will foot the bill for Detroit's bankruptcy?
- How to refinance without resetting the mortgage clock
[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 shed 0.1%, registering its fourth consecutive decline. Today's session proved to be a bit of a roller coaster ride for stocks as the S&P 500 opened in the red, rallied into positive territory, fell to fresh lows, and regained the bulk of its losses into the close.
For the second day in a row, the early weakness coincided with heavy selling in Europe. In addition, bonds and risk assets were pressured by a better-than-expected ADP Employment report, which ... More
More Market News
For years, Todd Mills pushed Frito-Lay to make taco shells from Doritos. He died from a brain tumor on Thanksgiving.