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 the U.S. trade deficit with China, representing nearly 200,000 jobs lost.
Now we have another reason to pick on them: The Walmart Rebrand.
Here’s a graphic 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 it’s 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 it?
You know, great branding can help capture and communicate the way the consumer really feels about a company. When branding is strong it hits a chord, bringing together a company’s strategic objectives, customer experience, and creative vision in a seamless way. And the logo is a core piece of that. Outsource Marketing’s Director of Creative Services Rheana Hersey says,
The meaning behind your logo should be harmonious with the feelings people have about your brand. Your logo takes your brand identity and brand, ties them together in a pretty little bow, and presents them to the world. That tiny little mark does a ton of heavy lifting.
Some designs can be misinterpreted, or are unclear, uninspiring, or just plain boring. Any company should get feedback on a logo design and consider its many potential associations and implications.
Hmmm. When you consider how many people feel about Walmart maybe their branding people actually hit the mark.
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 the smartbrandblog.