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JC Penney Survives One Million Moms

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Wed, 15/02/2012 - 16:38
Ted Marzilli
JC Penney

JC Penney has not only weathered the Ellen Degeneres spokesperson storm, but pulled ahead of rival Kohl’s in consumer perception with its core female 18 – 49 audience in the US.

Ironically, Republicans helped drive up the chain’s consumer perception for the first two weeks after Degeneres was named new spokesperson, even after advocacy group One Million Moms launched its well-publicized protest early in that time frame.

Before CEO Ron Johnson announced the JC Penney overhaul, conservatives actually had higher perception scores for the retailer than either Democrats or Independents. A mere three days after the January 27th announcement which unveiled Degeneres’ role, One Million Moms issued its “traditional family” alert, but that did not stop conservative perception from rising right through until February 7th.

Although conservative perception has declined somewhat since that date perception among moderates and liberals has continued to hold. The result is that JC Penney’s overall perception with its core 18 – 49 female audience has charged past its closest rival, Kohl's.

JC Penney and Kohl's were measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz score, which asks respondents: “If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?” We broke the scores down by both women 18 – 49, and adults 18+ by political affiliation.

YouGov BrandIndex measurement scores range from 100 to -100 and are compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback.

Just before Ron Johnson’s press conference on January 27, Kohl’s buzz score was ahead 22 versus JC Penney’s 17. That changed immediately afterward, as JC Penney’s buzz score passed Kohl’s a few days later, and has kept going upward in the face of the One Million Moms controversy, likely aided by Johnson’s highly publicized support of Degeneres and early rebranding rollout. JC Penney’s buzz score has jumped 11 points since the Johnson press conference, currently standing at 29, while Kohl’s resides at 22.

JC Penney Buzz by Political Ideology
JC Penney Buzz by Political Ideology
JC Penney vs. Kohl's Buzz Women 18-49
JC Penney vs. Kohl's Buzz Women 18-49
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