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“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”

- Joseph Campbell


JCPenney's inclusive brand experience

JCPenney's inclusive brand experience

I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon a report about retailer JCPenney taking another step forward in its brand experience by creating a window display that breaks traditional habits of the retail world.

The display, which can be seen at Penney's Manhattan store through end of August, uses 5 mannequins with physical forms that are more representative of current society.

They were based on these 5 people:

  • a woman who uses a wheelchair as a result of partial paralysis
  • a man with dwarfism
  • a 6-foot-1½-inch female basketball player
  • a plus-size female
  • an ex-army member who lost part of his legs.

JCPenney is certainly not the first big brand to attempt an inclusive campaign built around the concept of "real" bodies - Dove's Real Beauty campaign from the early 2000s is still one of the most talked about in recent history.

And while the idea for the mannequins didn't come from JCPenney - they were created as part of a TV show campaign - they certainly spotted an opportunity to launch, and be part of, a new conversation in retail.

It's inspiring to see a brand that is showing an awareness of the reality in which its products exist. I hope more brands will follow suit with a more inclusive approach to their brand experience.

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