The Apple, The Tree And JCP

About a month ago, I had a blog post written in long hand to post here and never got around to it. I’m glad I waited; there’s so much more proof that my admiration of all things Apple isn’t just a passing fancy.

Awhile back, I also wrote a little series on creativity. In that series, I wrote about Nest, the new thermostat innovated by former Apple executives. The website was fresh, clean, and sparkling. The product, Nest, is still on my wish list — a thermostat with a brain that programs the temperature in your home for you once you’ve entered a few settings.

Today’s post is about another former Apple executive taking the reins as CEO over at Jacque Pennier or J.C. Penney, Inc. or JCP, as it’s now commonly called in marketing campaigns.

If you’ve not seen the new JCP direct mail campaigns sashaying in your door via snail mail, you’re living under a rock. As soon as I got the first one, I couldn’t put it down; I was so impressed. Inside, within the ads for apparel and other goods, were the typical storytelling snippets introducing sections oriented to demographics.

The major thrust and branding adjustment, though, was how Ron Johnson turned the image of dowdy JC Penney into something fresh; can I almost say sophisticated feeling?

Each mini catalog I get appeals to my sense of color, makes me smile at the vibrant energy coming off the pages, and it has people talking, too. My personal trainer asked me if I knew that JCP has sale dates on the third Friday of the month now and not every day with coupons.

The point to all this is simply, the Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Innovation, creativity, making customers excited about mundane products, and turning brands upside down and inside out to rescue them from the horse’s trough is brilliant.

And, the critics had some ho-hum to say, but the company’s stock soared to $38 buoyed by a rosier outlook. I’d say when a former Apple somebody or ‘nother decides to take a job somewhere…uhmm, that’s a trading tip to run and buy some stock, wouldn’t you say?

16 comments
Jason Fonceca
Jason Fonceca

Love this, Jayme! The "apple-tree" metaphor is so awesome.  And I love seeing brands re-vitalized and thriving, and the team at Apple certainly has a sense for those things.

 

Your comments about the story-telling and emotionality of the catalog mirror what I aim to do with my blog posts.  I posted this week on that very topic: http://ryzeonline.com/success-is-a-story-and-youre-telling-it-wrong and it got a lot of people buzzing.

 

Anyway, fantastic post, keep rockin' it!

 

P.S.  I *love* Nest.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @New England Multimedia When you stop in, do you feel a sense of ownership over here? I'm thinking there's gotta be something like that going on! I am LOVING this site SOOOO much.

New England Multimedia
New England Multimedia

I hadn't seen the new JC Penney campaign, Jayme, so I had to go peek online at http://www.jcpenney.com/ -- and WOW! I see what you mean!I remember the JC Penney of my youth as an old fuddy-duddy store for middle-aged women. Boring. Blah. Staid. Stale.I'm a middle-aged woman now. But today's middle-aged woman is #Rockhot, as you would say. JCP's got my attention. Amazing what a blast of Apple-style creativity can do for a brand!

 

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

 @ginidietrich I agree! The ads drive me nuts, but their new brand and image make over has made enough of a difference for me to go in the store for the first time in years.

Latest blog post: A Personal Request

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @ginidietrich I'm thinking AFTER. The Apple CEO took the helm about a year ago, I think and those ads came sometime in fall or late winter? I went to JCP over weekend to shop for kidlet; it feels different and lots of people in there in kids department. Had darling senior helping me with clothing, too. Great customer service.

Latest blog post: Attend Social Slam April 2012

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @New England Multimedia Oh, No! Sorry I said you were under a rock, Michelle!!!! Gosh, I didn't think people weren't following this, but it's my world and not necessarily yours! The first catalog was so impressive; it formed my opinion and then I learned it was Apple creativity behind it all. I'm telling you...Apple is cascading through business like fuel to fire. These people have been indoctrinated into a culture of creativity and innovation that is second to none.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @jennwhinnem Thanks for the video, Jenn. Watched a minute and I really like her. Kudos to JCP for sticking to their guns, too. Is this a party line thing?

New England Multimedia
New England Multimedia

 @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing  @jennwhinnem It's not a party line thing at all. There are plenty of Republicans and conservatives who have no issue with Ellen, or with JCP hiring her. Bill O'Reilly, for example, defended Ellen. http://fxn.ws/AsuQgS 

 

One Million Moms is a small segment of activist social conservatives who not only don't represent all conservatives, but neither do they represent all social conservatives. In the same way, animal rights activists like PETA and Greenpeace are a small segment of activist environmentalists who not only don't represent all liberals, but neither do they represent all environmentalist liberals. 

 

I'm a huge Ellen fan. They don't come any kinder than her!! She's a breath of fresh air. Perfect for JCP! 

New England Multimedia
New England Multimedia

 @jennwhinnem  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing I record her show on DVR because she lifts my spirits, gives me hope, and reminds me to LAUGH! I remember watching Ellen's sitcom and being a huge fan, then watching America turn their back on her when she revealed she was gay. She lost everything, except her heart. Her comeback is well-deserved.   I find it bizarre that the woman in the O'Reilly interview thinks Ellen "represents homosexuality." She obviously doesn't watch Ellen. To me, Ellen represents kindness, compassion, humor, love, fun, strength, grace, and so much more. Again, a GREAT hire for JCP!  

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