JC Penney Fires A Shot in The Social Media Revolution

2010 saw retailers begin to approach social media with less fear than in the past few years. More are incorporating aspects of social media into their websites and many are setting up shopping carts in Facebook.

This week Texas-based department store giant JC Penney dove in with both feet when they replicated their entire catalog on Facebook. Completely duplicating the products customers can buy on the company’s website on its Facebook Page and fully integrating ecommerce into the page. Social media is the next great frontier of brand building, whether it is Facebook, My Space, Twitter, Foursquare or Quora the opportunities for retailers to build their Private Brands is exciting. Brand building has long been dependent on traditional media with CPG’s attempting to guarantee success with excessive TV & radio buys. Those days have passed and we have entered into a period of change, the wild west of brand building where the brave, the daring, the foolish will leverage and combine the bleeding edge evolving assets of social media with instore marketing and customer loyalty programs to grow the next great brands, Private Brands.

According to the website Practical Ecommerce:

“Facebook is quickly growing to 600 million users, 50 percent of whom logon at least once per day, according to its own statistics. What this means is that the social network has become the operating system of the social web. And, not unlike the Oklahoma land rush of the 1880s, retailers are lining up to stake a claim in what is proving to be fertile territory.

“The value of Facebook and other social media sites to retailers is greater than previously thought,” stated ecommerce consultant John Lawson, reporting on a recent survey conducted by social media marketing company Media Logic. “Out of 100 retailers participating in the study, all of them have seen tremendous growth on their respective Facebook pages,” Lawson said.”

Retailers have long owned the instore relationship; Private Brands at their best extend that relationship from the store, to the home, to the table, they must now own the social media relationship or abdicate it to a CPG whose only concern is selling more detergent regardless of retailer.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.