CMO Connections

Building Macy's New National Brand Image

Video Interview With CMO Anne McDonald

By Published on .

Over the last few years, Cincinnati-based Federated Department Stores has used a series of acquisitions to literally explode its Macy's brand from a regional player with 250 stores to a national mammoth with more than 800. Federated merged with May Co. last August, and earlier this month it officially changed 400 May store locations into Macy's.

Dramatic change
The sweeping reorganization is dramatically altering the chain's marketing strategies as well as its advertising needs.

In August of last year, Federated hired Anne McDonald, former CMO of the global consumer group at Citibank, to be the president and chief marketing officer of Macy's corporate marketing division. As such, she walked onto center stage in what is believed to be the largest single reorganization of a national department store chain in U.S. history.

Citibank's 'Live Richly' campaign
At Citibank, Ms. McDonald oversaw strategic marketing planning, media, consumer research and insights, branding, product naming and design, and marketing analytics. During her tenure, the company developed its new logo and "Live Richly" campaign.

At Citibank, she worked to have the bank become more holistically customer-centric. She's applying much of the same approach to Macy's as it revamps itself as a national brand. And while Macy's, like other department stores, has traditionally relied heavily on newspaper advertising, under Ms. MacDonald's watch it will diversify its advertising and reportedly $1.2 billion media plan to include a national TV campaign as well as national magazine buys, which will be part of the media mix for the first time. Federated's conversion of its various department store brands will be backed by the company's first national branding campaign from WPP Group's JWT and Publicis Groupe's Starcom, both Chicago. Macy's is also sponsoring Bravo's high-fashion reality show "Project Runway."

Pizza Hut
Prior to joining Citibank, Ms. McDonald was VP-brand management at PepsiCo's Pizza Hut division. And before that, she spent 13 years with advertising agency N.W. Ayer, where she held senior roles across client businesses in such categories as consumer package goods, telecommunications, financial services, luxury goods and business-to-business.

Ms. MacDonald did her undergraduate studies at Boston College and received her Master's Degree in Business from Bath University in England.

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