JCPenney regrouping: time to rehab their reputation
JCPenney’s termination of CEO Ron Johnson, gives the renowned brand a chance to begin rehabilitating its image and reputation. While Johnson brought innovative ideas to the store, store cultural changes were too large for consumers and sales reflected customer dissatisfaction.
Here are three steps JCPenney could employ now to help rebuild its reputation and bring back consumer trust.
1. Stop the hemorrhaging
The first step is to stop the sales hemorrhaging. Consumers uncertain about a brand or business will avoid it. It’s simply human nature. Therefore, JCPenney needs to return to basics and offer some familiar comforts to loyal customers in the form of sales.
Certainly there’s no need to undo everything Johnson created, as some of his innovations may have value long term, but in the interim, stores need to quickly return to the sales model in order to bring people back into the stores. Customers have clearly made it known they are unwilling to compromise on the issue as evidenced by over a year’s worth of decreasing sales.
A simple store-wide sale of 10% for a weekend would probably be enough to bring people back to the store in an effort to regain their interest.
2. Public relations campaign
Step two is a public relations campaign to help customers understand JCP’s plans moving forward. JCPenney has a long way to go in rebuilding their consumer loyalty but with clear communication strategies, this should work out to their advantage.
Utilization of social media strategies to directly communicate with consumers would help as well. Show appreciation for customer loyalty.
3. Nailing timing
The final step is to make the right changes in stages. Rather than sweeping changes, JCPenney needs to focus on values the company has maintained for the last 100 years.
Customers have clear expectations of JCPenney and these basic principles matter to consumers more than branding or marketing tactics.