Can a logo make a difference?

Posted by Steve Kleber on Mar 03, 2011

JC Penney has recently redesigned its logo in an attempt to modernize and reinvigorate the brand. The change comes about a month after the company’s recent announcement to downsize, a decision which means closing six under-performing department stores, scaling down its catalog and consolidating its call centers.

The company hopes that some rebranding may be able to help its image. Daphne Avila, senior manager of corporate communications for JC Penney stated that, “We’re trying to be able to attract a new and younger customer.”

In order to go after this younger demographic, JC Penney says it will be focusing more on social media through promotional Twitter and Facebook campaigns.

The brand has already demonstrated that it’s taking this push for a new direction seriously, and it seems to be paying off. With the company’s new acquisition of exclusive brands like Liz Claiborne, JC Penney has been able to attract new customers and help its bottom line; it is already showing a 36% profit increase for last quarter. The major retailer has also expanded its product line to include European clothing from MG by Mango, a move aimed at remaining competitive throughout evolving clothing trends.

In the quest for reinventing a company’s image, JC Penney is certainly not alone; however, considering the recent trend of other companies that have tried and failed, it is certainly a risky decision.

Several months ago, the GAP announced its intention to redesign its logo, only to be met with harsh criticism, which led the company to ultimately revert back to its previous logo.  Starbucks Coffee recently experienced the exact same thing, as they announced earlier this year that they planned to drastically alter the company’s logo, removing the words “Starbucks Coffee” from the image entirely… a decision that has been met with a public outcry of disapproval.

Hoping to avoid a similar fate, JC Penney did a lot of research in order to gauge customer approval of the new design. Only time will tell if the changes will be well-received, but since psychology suggests that people are generally resistant to change, it may be an uphill battle.

This entry was posted by Steve Kleber on Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 at 11:50 am and is filed under Brand Management. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.