JCPenney reinvents retail

Brick-and-mortar department stores are typically not known for being agile.  However, JCPenney has embarked on a huge initiative to change the way they approach everything from pricing strategy to in-store signage to marketing.

The new shift in strategy was covered in Ad Age's piece titled "JC Penney Reinvents Department-Store Retailing."  According to the article, "JC Penney created a personality and color palette for each month that will be carried throughout marketing, in-store displays and even external lighting on stores. By focusing on one month at a time, Mr. Francis said, JC Penney can highlight important consumer events, such as Valentine's Day, Super Bowl or the Academy Awards.  'We have the opportunity to capture the 'consumer's imagination on a monthly basis,' Mr. Francis said. 'Owning the month is a significant opportunity for us.'"

Updating marketing on a monthly cadence allows JCPenny to better focus customer attention on important events instead of distracting ideas.  The brand could take it one step further by aligning their display advertising to not only the theme of the month, but also current trends and memes that matter for the customer at that time.  Since trending content is difficult to predict months in advance, the key is to have technology that enables automation and agility by pulling in relevant content from around the web as it's happening.