Enough is Enough
JC Penney has gone all in on a new advertising and marketing strategy — the “Enough is Enough—2.1.12 Campaign.” The commercials feature women clipping through floods of coupons and howling in agony (we’re talking blood curdling screams) after missing sales. The central idea is quite simple: “jcp” (as they are now calling themselves) is putting and end to their annoyingly never-ending promotions. It’s a permanent price reduction of 40 percent on all merchandise. And according to their new manifesto, they’re leaving bad habits behind and letting in some fresh air to become America’s favorite store.
So here’s the question: Even if we know that the prices at jcp have been trimmed about 40 percent permanently, will our brains get on board with the new markdown? The psychology of sales and coupons is somewhat fascinating. But these days, competing on price is a dangerous territory to be in. It dilutes the brand and builds ZERO emotional connection with the customer. I mean, with the amazon app you can scan just about any product’s barcode to see where you can get it at the best price and in a few taps have that product on its way to your front door.
What could the effect be for the Enough is Enough – 2.1.12 Campaign? One potential benefit to the strategy is that it could bring customers in the store more often and keep the revenue stream consistent. If shoppers no longer have to wait for the “Winter Sale” or “35% off purchase of $100 dollars or more” coupon, JC Penney could eliminate lulls in shopping activity, such as the period before Black Friday. JC Penney also claims that with the leaner pricing strategy, it can shrink the number of promotions it runs from 590 to… twelve. This enables the company to spend forty times more on each campaign… and still save an estimated $300 million on advertising per year. And on top of that, jcp feels they are building a better experience by not making customer jump through hoops to get a good price (or fill mailboxes with junk).
So what do you think? Will customers remember that they are getting a bargain? Will they search for deals elsewhere? Or will this new strategy help jcp become America’s favorite store and start a new trend in eliminating the perpetual sale-hunting and coupon-clipping madness?