Is it just me or does there seem to be a whole lot of re-branding going on in the corporate world these days? JCPenney is the latest to unveil a new logo design in effort to boost sales and modernize their image. It is their 3rd logo in just a few years.
Not only has JCPenney unveiled their new identity, they plan on doing a complete overhaul of their product line and marketing strategy. It appears the company’s rebrand may be contributing to their recent and projected success.
Just last year the company was experiencing sluggish sales and store closings. This year they are seeing rising stock share prices and an upbeat outlook for 2012. Maybe JCPenney’s hiring of Ron Johnson, a former Apple and Target executive, is paying off.
According to the popular retail outlet, their new logo is meant to evoke the American Flag, a move likely to resonate with today’s shoppers and set it apart from the rest of the retail pack. CEO Myron E. “Mike” Ullman III had this to say: “Our new logo reflects the modern retailer we’ve become while continuing to honor our rich legacy”.
With so many people voicing their opinion online these days, even the slightest change to a company’s brand or image can result in a firestorm of angry customers or a boost in brand loyalty. In the case of Tropicana and Gap; their re-branding efforts resulted in some undesirable customer backlash.
Here’s what some are saying about the rebranding of JCPenney:
Forbes (popular business news source) on the changes overall:
“J.C. Penney Will Be The Most Interesting Retailer Of 2012”
Matt (blog comment about the logo design):
“Are they looking to capitalize on the publicity that the aborted Gap logo got? Why not just pay $15 and get a better one from 99designs.com? Awful.”
Ex JCP Shopper (blog comment about the logo design):
“Well, it’s good to finally see the company admit that their last logo change (which was a year ago, mind you) was terrible. Many of my friends who work there hated the last logo too, though management loved it. As a side note, the last logo was designed by an intern.”
Nader (blog comment about the logo design):
“I don’t hate the logo…it puts a rather youthful, fresh spin on what many consider your mom’s department store.”
My personal take on the logo specifically:
I must say that that the logo initially struck me as a little visually boring and a bit cliche, however when seeing it displayed in store and product mock-ups it becomes a bit more appealing.
The red white and blue color scheme does give off an American vibe as intended. The ironic thing is that 98% of the products sold at the store are most likely made over seas.
I like the idea of utilizing the square element of the design on it’s own (as shown in the preview below), as it will allow for a bit of versatility while still maintaining the theme of the logo.
I find it a bit surprising that this is the best design that they could come up with considering a company of their size must have an endless budget. I’m guessing a heck of a lot of man hours were put into the creation process as well, as this seems to be the case with larger companies who often spend months or years trying to establish the proper identity.
Regardless of my dislikes, I think the new identity can still work well. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you think the logo and/or re-brand was a move in the right direction or a step backwards?