Walmart offers always low prices, but at a cost.
The company has been criticized on a number of fronts including their record with labor, the environment and vendor negotiations. Incredibly, the company accounts for over 11% of U.S. trade deficit with China, representing nearly 200,000 jobs lost.
Now we have another reason to pick on Walmart: Their re-brand.
Here’s a graphic from the company website showing the evolution of the Walmart logo:
Walmart offered little explanation for the change:
For the past two years, a customer focused transformation has been taking place in Walmart’s U.S. business.
Walmart’s U.S. locations will update store logos as part of an ongoing evolution of its overall brand – customers have already seen this in refreshed store signage and recent print advertisements and TV commercials.
But what really matters is what happens out there in the stores. This update to the logo is simply a reflection of the refresh taking place inside our stores and our renewed sense of purpose to help people save money so they can live better.
Can they be more vague? If they are going to leave the logo open to interpretation, that’s what I’ll do:
The color is more contemporary, and by moving from all upper-case to a capitalized “W” and lower-case letters its more approachable.
But what’s with the ginormous starburst?
At first I wondered why they didn’t read my blog post about marketing without an * because that’s what it looks like—a huge asterisk.
By definition, an asterisk is “used to highlight a particular word or sentence, often to indicate a footnote” or “a blemish in an otherwise outstanding achievement.”
So, where’s the footnote, and why would you want a logo that looked your company name with an asterisk? Can you imagine AT&T*, Apple*, GM*, Microsoft* or Johnson + Johnson* doing this? No way.
Should Walmart go out of their way to communicate that they have a blemish (pick one) on their otherwise outstanding achievement (biggest retailer in the world)?
Even worse, it looks like a big sphincter. So many people already consider them one, does their logo need to look like one?
You know, great branding can help capture and communicate the way the consumer really feels about a company.
Hmmm. Maybe their branding people actually hit the mark.
Nah. Given the amount of products they import from China, this would be even more fitting:
Would you agree that Walmart’s new logo is highly irresponsible, even borderline unforgivable? Why or why not?
Comment below to weigh in.
Inspiration for the this post came from this article on the smartbrandblog.