JC Penny’s Price Based Strategy: A Case Study On How to Make Your Brand Performance Go Pear-Shaped?

In the past we’ve tried to highlight how utilising coupons can turn your brand strategy pair shaped.  The challenges JC Penny is currently facing lucidly illustrate this point.

This revealing article shares some of the challenges new JC Penny CEO Ron Johnson is experiencing whilst trying to shake the brands’ coupon crazy reputation.  An unenviable task.

Ron knows what he’s doing.  He positioned Target around “cheap chic”.  A delicate balance with almost contradictory objectives.  He was the brain behind Apple’s retail channel. Very profitable.  If a guy with this experience is struggling to turn JC Penny around surely the message is clear?  Try to avoid a price based brand strategy.  Even colossal brands like of Tesco who could scale to make, in theory, a price based strategy plausible have struggled to make a fist of this strategy.

Based on our experience, consumers seldom make decisions based purely on price. They make decision based on value for money which price is a part of. Put differently, price doesn’t always equal value but frequently is a crucial part of value.

We think the JC Penny case illustrates this point.  Lets hope you’re not going to let your brand performance go pear-shaped too?


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