Good Week/Bad Week in Branding

Good Week: J.C. Penney – The department store goes after what it sees as an underserved market in announcing the launch of its first in-house line of plus-size clothing for young women. Aimed at re-energizing the once-mighty retail brand, the move follows a similar plus-sized play by Target last year. (And yes: I’m aware that “underserved” is an ironic concept here).

Bad Week: The Soft Drink IndustryA report issued this week by research firm Mintel showed that nearly 25% of Americans reported ordering less soda in restaurants than they did one year ago, marking the 15th consecutive year of decline. Beyond bad news for Coca-Cola and Pepsi, the continuing slump is hurting restaurant chains, where the profit margin on soft drinks is particularly high. (In the world of soda, “underserved” means opting for the half-gallon “small” vs. the two-gallon “large.”)