We received a flyer in the mail the other day. It was bright. It was bold. The colors were sharp; the pictures, beautiful.
It was from JC Penny.
Now, I don’t know about you, but the adjectives I used to describe the flyer- bright, bold, sharp, beautiful- are not ones I associate with the JC Penny brand. Hardly.
And that’s the point. JC Penny is out to change their brand big time. And they are going about it the right way.
I surmise that from a note at the front of the flyer. Here are some excerpts:
“This year, we turn 110. We’re fine with growing old. We’re not fine with growing stale….We’re rethinking and reimagining, and if we find that we’ve picked up any bad habits over the decades, we’re going to leave them far behind.”
This is brilliant.
Too often when companies or individuals decide to change, they don’t tell relevant stakeholders what they are up to, and more importantly, why. The folks making the changes assume that everyone will notice the new behavior and be appropriately impressed.
Often, people are surprised or confused when something or someone familiar changes, even if it can be argued that the change is for the better. Worse still, the change can be missed altogether, as people go on automatic pilot and see what used to be, versus seeing what is new, and now.
The way around this dilemma? Every time you make a major change, tell people about it. Let them know what you are doing and why.
Going to seek a little more life balance? Tell your team, as they will have to pick up the slack. Going to change a product line or process? Tell your customers and vendors, so they can prepare and respond appropriately.
Communicate your change. Often. Otherwise you can put a lot of time and energy into the new company or the new you or the new product line, and no one but you will notice. Or care.
Take a lead from JC Penny. Be bold. Be bright. And don’t be afraid to announce the good news.