Can a new corporate identity make Wal-Mart more attractive to consumers? On Saturday, The Wall Street Journal revealed that Wal-Mart was planning a new logo. Then on Sunday, the Associated Press confirmed the news, adding that stores would begin bearing the new logo in the fall. You can see that Walmart is no longer using their former blocky, all-caps style font; it’s replaced by softer text with rounded letters. Both the star image and the hyphen in their name is gone, and is replaced by what appears to be an asterisk or flower.
The new font seems to echo a more casual, friendly style. This style-shift reminds me of Cisco’s logo re-design about a year ago, from a very corporate/IBM look & feel to a much more simplistic one. While Walmart’s asterisk/flower mark is “cute”, it also comes off as a bit weak or “wussy”. It’s definitely not as strong or assertive as the iconic five-point star.
In addition, Walmart seems to have changed it’s tagline to reflect a more down-to-earth, approachable (and again, less-aggressive) tone. Their old tagline: Always low prices. Always. Their new one: Save money, live better. Hmmm…..why does that sound so familiar? Where have I heard something like that before? Oh yes, that’s right: it’s oddly similar to Target’s tagline, which is Expect More, Pay Less.
In any case, time will tell if such a change affects consumers, and I’m curious as to why they’re making such a change right now. One might think that in tough economic times, a low-priced leader such as Walmart would be attracting all sorts of new customers even without a facelift. And I’m also wondering why they decided to blatently copy Target’s tagline.