JCPenny’s NEW Catalog Equipped with Dog-ear & Pen-circling Capabilities

March 2, 2015
Ron Johnson, JCPennys former CEO, wiped the 1200-plus-page catalog from Americas mailbox in 2009. But with new management and direction, their home catalog has been resurrected. 120 glorious pages feature affordable goodies to fill up living rooms, bedrooms and any other room in need of some decorative lovin. Fewer pages, but Pennys has its book-book back. Ill take it. Spokeswomen Kate Coultas said according to their research customers, particularly shopping for home merchandise, still prefer to browse a traditional print piece.  These customers, me included, want the ability to finger through the thin pages, making dog-ears, circling and flagging the wishes and wants, picturing the items in their home.

Ever since companies discovered digital marketing to reach their consumers, weve seen a rollercoaster-drop in catalogs reaching our mailboxes. No longer were the coffee tables and kitchen cupboards of America overflowing with catalog. Great for the environment! But on the other hand, I personally enjoyed Saturday morning couch lounging, marking things I need.

Recently, the Direct Marketing Association found the number of catalog mailed since 2013 rising for the first time since 2006. Some retailers have begun using catalog marketing for the first time. The catalog taps the consumer on the shoulder, ensuring they know its there with its fresh paper smell and glossy pictures. It sits patiently in the living room waiting for you to walk by and take a peek.

To further back up the beloved catalog, Kate Coultas of JCPenny, thinks that, the internet has gotten so big that you cant find anything on it. The Internet is a place for shopping quick and knowing the exact item you wish to purchase.As a millennial I admit I do purchase the item online after looking at a catalog. But I like to touch the pages and see the item and picture it in my life before going online and clicking through an extensive product list.

JCPennys new strategy with their 120-page home catalog is to drive sales. After a few messy years brought on by poor management decisions, they need this. Depending on the market cooperation, Pennys plans to present to America other niche-based product catalog plus experiment with frequency and versatility. Keep watch for JCPennys 2015 home catalog coming to Americas mailbox in March!


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Keep It Personal

February 5, 2015
We are Millennials, hear us … text. And tweet. And snap. While I still look back nostalgically at a time when cell phones were only “for emergencies” and researching involved opening a book, I know I am the typical, technology dependent Millennial girl. Known as the “always connected” generation, Millennials or Generation Y born between 1980 and 1999, make up the largest generation group in history. We’re a challenge to market to due to the size and diversity of our group, along with our identifying attributes that include short attention spans, extreme self-confidence and highly personalized demands. But we also represent strong purchasing power. Successful brands need to take notice and adjust their strategies to reach us.

In a recent Forbes interview, SDL Chief Marketing Officer Paige O’Neill lays out a few recommendations for how marketers can better leverage the size and potential of Milliennials.

1. Focus on experience. As Millennials, we create our own brand experiences instead of waiting for the next marketing campaign. A shift from the traditional “campaign” approach to a focus on the customer experience will help break through the personal junk filter.

2. Show greater transparency. Trust is of huge importance. If brands show how consumer data is collected and use it to offer more customized content or provide a benefit in return, Millennials feel stronger loyalty. It’s all about personalization.

3. Use an omni-channel strategy. We want tailored communication and we want it across all channels. If you engage with your customers on Facebook, we want to see that engagement through the ad you run on Spotify, in your weekly email blast and around the Internet through retargeting.

4. Be relevant to the individual. We’ve always known brands need to understand the behaviors of their target audience. But with Millennials, understanding the journey is key to unlocking a successful marketing strategy. The tools we leave behind – email address, IP address, browsing history, device type and location – will help reach Millennials across channels and personalize the content to individual preferences.

A lot is still left to be seen about the Millennial generation as we enter our forties and beyond. Will we be great money savers? Will our social libertarian outlook fuel significant policy change? As Generation Z enters the mix, how will the workforce change for us? Regardless of the future, to reach us today, marketers need to remember content is king and “keep it personal.”

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Co-Branding-Does it Work?

October 22, 2014
Co Branding Does it Work? Kelloggs recently came out with a new peanut butter cereal but ran into the wall when concluding their name alone was not going to be enough to sell their new cereal.

What do big brands do in a case like this?

Generate a deal with another complimentary brand!

 In Kellogg’s case, saving the peanut butter cereal by combining brand strength with Jiff was a logical choice. The happy-brand-couple receives dual exposure and the kids in the cereal isle become extra bouncy at the sight of the delicious complex.

 Licensing agreements are an old trick in the great book of marketing do’s and don’ts. This year especially, many big-box food production companies have been studying the co-branding marketing strategy page for ways to boost their product and break away from their competitors.

 The drawback when implementing this co-marketing is shared control as one relies equally on the other guy to be part of a brand empowering partnership. Yet, the positive facet to this situation, launching the product is much quicker because marketers aren’t building a brand from scratch.

 Here is where the mixed brands get interesting:

 Jelly Belly + Tabasco Dark Chocolate.

 These recognizable brands decided they would make a great food couple, a perfect pairing. I’m not quite sure all would agree with this combination, but I’m confident someone appreciates this.

Here are a few more examples of the duos I find are interesting.

Dial+Froyo Frozen Yogurt Cooling Body Wash: A hygiene product. Off the bat I’m thinking “delicious shower snack!” To some it might not be appealing, but then again many health forward beauty products use yogurt as a common ingredient. The idea has an appealing basis.

Taco Bell+Kraft Southwest Ranch: this combination sounds enticing. I have never tried it. Another point to consider would be that partnering up on this sauce, the brands equity, positive and negative, comes along with the creation of the duo product.

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Smart Advertising or Exploitation?

September 2, 2014



It seems these days-literally the last few days-that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been a frequent flyer aboard Facebook’s News Feeds with it’s great awareness building and fundraising tactics for ALS. This frigid challenge has recently surfaced and many have come forward with different opinions about this viral method of fundraising for ALS. 
A “different” kind of video has been posted in an area some might have seen coming. That’s right, the advertising world. Many large companies brought their executives to the scene to take part and raise money for ALS. But no one called out a branded product…until now. 
Samsung has jumped on board the speeding media train and used the Ice Bucket Challenge in a creative way to promote their new Galaxy 5s smart phone with it’s waterproof shell. In the ad, the Galaxy 5s gets the cubed, cold water dumped right on top of it's (head?) and proceeds to "say" how cold it is. The Galaxy 5s then calls upon it's competitors' top selling smart phone devices to take part in the challenge.
This is where things get tricky. Using a charity’s awareness building campaign to spin off your own profit-making ad could be seen as self-serving. From another angle, it shows the fast creativity and real-time marketing like Oreo’s Super Bowl tweet. But when do you cross the line between creative and crass? Siri, what do you think?
  
Check out Samsung’s spot:

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