Family portraits have long been a staple of holiday gift giving. Beyond the standard framed 5×7 print for the grandparents, JC Penney’s JCP Portraits has begun styling itself as a more fashionable brand for holiday family portraits.
JCP Portraits has long understood the popularity of portraits during the holidays. Their recent market segmentation appears to be aimed at moms of younger children who see themselves as stylish and expect personalized attention. In Tuning Into Mom, mom Melissa describes the “hip mom” demographic:
“I am not the typical sweater-vest-kind-of-wearing mom. Almost all the moms on my street are stay-at-home moms. When I hear them talk, they’re very much into style and fashion. There are so many messages for them to see during the day about being hip, not dowdy.”
To appeal to this segment of the mom market, the brand has evolved its product and service offerings along with its marketing approach.
Images from JCP Portrait’s holiday photo gallery, like those below, show mainly younger families posed in unique ways and using modern color palettes:
Along with the traditional “tree and stockings” background, the brand promotes vintage, modern and natural backgrounds that appeal to more modern sensibilities. Mom can also purchase a “gallery wrap” portrait to give her family’s photo a museum cachet.
Of course, JCP Portraits offers many other products, too. While the anachronistic printed mousepad still makes an appearance, Mom can now order iPhone covers, water bottles or tumbled stone coasters featuring her family’s portraits.
Looking over the JCP Portrait studio testimonials affirms that the most popular time for family portraits is just before Thanksgiving—portrait sessions often include pets, children’s artwork and other tokens to make the portraits more personalized.
With November and December specials on Holiday Portrait Packages ($8) and greeting cards ($0.50 each), the brand’s strategy is to encourage Mom to come in for a portrait session and be so pleased with the photos that she wants to buy a larger package.
As Stephanie wrote of her experience:
“I really only wanted holiday cards and a family photo but ended up with the biggest package they have, because there were so many great shots!”
JCP Portraits shows how a brand can take a traditional or expected image and refresh it for new segments. It’s holiday picture time—and JCP Portraits is ready to appeal to the family’s Chief Memory Officer- Mom.