After losing half its stock value, JC Penney is making another run with the help of Apple Consultant and retail guru, Ron Johnson. Johnson is breathing new life into the tired brand by reworking just about everything about the store from logo to lingerie.
If you’re a woman in her second act who feels you’ve lost some of your value or that “loving feeling” at work or at home is there a thing or two to be learned from JCP’s relaunch? “Yeah, baby, yeah,” as Austin Powers would say.
5 Ways to Apply the Best of JCP’s
Comeback Strategies to Your Midlife
Bring in the Big Guns. If you career has flat lined or you’ve lost yourself along the way, you can hire a coach or guru to blow smoke up your skirt until you blaze a better trail. Plus these gurus won’t cost nearly the hourly rate of a Ron Johnson. You can go to Marie Forleo’s Rich Happy Hot B-School course for around $2,000 to get a proven plan to do what lights you on fire.
Or you can take Tara Mohr’s Playing Big course for $164 a month for six months for a life-changing experience online. There are so many avenues to elevate your game no matter how late it is in the game. Need guidance? Just describe your situation or the type coach you’re looking for in the comments box below. I’ll send suggestions pronto.
Stay True to Who You Are to the Core. Ron Johnson told executives he’d be treating JCP’s jump-start like the startup of a brand new company – pretty drastic and perhaps necessary. In midlife, this is often called a midlife crisis – when you transform into a being that no one else recognizes from your prior self.
I caution you to stay true to who you are while taking things up a notch or two or three. If you’re a straight shooter whose gone a little salty, take an etiquette class or trip abroad for a culture infusion but don’t try to become Kate Middleton when you’re more Mae West in nature.
Do Update Your Image. JC Penney opened in 1901 and has been through a number of regime changes and three logo changes. Being in marketing, this isn’t a lot of updates and time will tell if they waited too late to stay profitable and relevant today. For women of a certain age, we need to update our looks and image at least every decade because our lives and bodies change and so should our hair, makeup, wardrobe, and resume.
When I stopped selling cabins in the Ozarks and returned to do PR in Kansas City, I needed a mass image overhaul and had the good sense to call in a wardrobe stylist. The money was well spent.
Bring Value in All You Do. JCP has cut the coupons and sales tactics and is sticking with delivering fair value everyday. Though highly controversial in the eyes of the retail pundits, it makes sense. Customers want value. Your boss wants value from your work and ideas.
Your partner wants a valuable partner to share his life with. What are you bringing to the table in your relationships? Are you short-changing your man, your friends, your work, your place of worship or philanthropic endeavors? It’s easy to let one area slide. Lord knows I have and have paid the price. Think of yourself as a brand and a business. Are you a rock star or a slacker? If you were on the NY stock exchange, what would your stock be trading for today? How can you boost that?
Stand Tall, Don’t Waffle. JCP is doing something incredibly right in my mind to get the great Ellen DeGeneres to be its spokesperson. Even better it had the integrity to stand behind its gay spokesperson when some of its customers complained because of her sexuality. Choose wisely and stick to your guns regardless of the backlash.
You can’t be all things to all people. Nor do I think that J.C. Penney trying to be America’s Favorite Store” is nearly specific enough of a target to hit. So what do you want to be in this chapter of your life/brand?
I want to be the inspiration to make women do things to make their knees knock and their lives rock as they write their storybook endings.
That’s a pretty clear mission. What’s yours and is it so clear that an Oprah, Buffett, Gates, Forleo, or another big-name branding, marketing genius would take you on as a project, alliance or partner?
If not in the meantime you’ve got me. I want you to grab your life by the reins and ride, Sally, ride. I will rah rah you through your transformation.
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