Consumers all over the world are becoming more savvy and sophisticated with each passing year. In order to survive in today’s marketplace, companies have to update and revitalize their identity while retaining brand equity. This is the unavoidable challenge that companies must face. Brands are struggling to maintain relevance in the eyes of evolving consumers and even the most established companies have to undergo brand re-inventions. Losing loyal customers in an effort to attract new ones is always a pitfall of making a possible change for the worse… but that’s just a risk many brands are willing to take.
Walmart had one of the most successful rebranding campaigns ever. It is the world’s largest retailer and one of the most distinguishable brands in history. Since its first store opening in 1962, Walmart has evolved from a rural American company to a globally recognized corporation. Historically criticized for having hostile corporate practices, mistreating employers, and being a target for environmentalists, Walmart reconsidered their brand identity and took action in creating a fresh image for their company.
In 2008, Lippincott brand designers developed a strategy to shift the focus of Walmart from just low prices to an overall positive shopping experience. They unveiled the new tag line “Save money. Live Better.” to highlight the emotional benefits of shopping at Walmart. They hoped to get the message across to consumers that spending less allows people to live better lives, not only save money.
A new logo and innovative store design was also implemented. The logo no longer showed a choppy, antiquated Wal-Mart; it now showed a fluid, refreshing Walmart. The star in between all caps was replaced by a bright orange starburst for a finishing touch. The new store design included higher ceiling, lower shelves, wider aisles, and a color palette of vibrant orange, yellow, and green. The signaling of Walmart’s appetizing products in the grocery department and the creation of a more enjoyable and friendly shopping environment was the goal of the new design.
This rebranding campaign proved to be a tremendous success for Walmart. The customer ratings for how “clean,” “fast,” and “friendly” Walmart is increased radically between 2008 and 2010. Not even the Walmart haters can deny that in the world of branding, Walmart takes the crown.