The Success Of Walmart’s Logo & Brand Redesign
Founded by Sam Walton in 1950, Walmart is a retail and wholesale leviathan with a market cap of $221.1 billion and 2.1 million employees. They are known as the king of retail and are one of the most successful chain stores in the world.
But before 2008, their visual identity — in the form of their logo — was a horrifyingly bold and brash design that left consumers feeling a coldness and a lack of authority from the brand.
The prior design featured all caps and an unappealing dark blue. It gave off a very cold impression. It was too stoic, too angular and too unfeeling. This combination and cold vibe gave critics the further fuel they needed to deem Walmart as a soul-crushing small business destroyer.
It screamed “corporation.”
But in the early 2000s, the corporate entity decided to shake things up, hoping to appeal to more audiences and change previous perceptions of the brand. And in 2005 Walmart hired Lippincott to reimagine its brand identity with a new and updated logo.
According to the agency:
The Walmart transformation began with a strategic exploration around its near-term ambitions: to position itself for growth into new markets and customer segments while staying true to their commitment to always carry the lowest prices. We maintained this emphasis on savings, but expanded the brand essence to resonate on a deeper, more emotional level. We looked to the most important outcomes of saving money: feeling smart for making the right choice, spending more time with family, and, to simply live better. We worked with Walmart to deliver this emotionally driven brand promise to their core customer base as well as a new broader audience. Today, this promise shines through in the way employees approach their role in their customers’ lives and Walmart’s contemporized look and feel.
It took three years, but the brand came out of the redesign with a whole new identity and logo to match. This gave the brand a new persona immediately that quickly led to tangible, trackable results.
Walmart debuted the new logo and brand identity in 2008. Thanks to Lippincott’s assistance and guidance, Walmart grew traffic by 7 percent from customers with incomes higher than $75,000.
But it’s not just the traffic and sales that grew. Customer perceptions transformed as well.
Between 2008 and 2010, consumer ratings for how fast, friendly, and clean Walmart was raised exponentially.
Walmart wanted to change its image and reflect the positive vision for the future of its customers and employees. And the end result was a logo change that was simple, kept tradition and conveyed a feeling of friendliness that thwarted further negative perceptions of the brand.
This led to a brighter, friendlier, and more modern store and shopping experience.