Wal-Mart has been actively dismanteling their "brand" for the past 5 years. The latest "blow" to the empire Sam Walton built is the news that Wal-Mart is shelving its "Always Low Prices" slogan. After 19 years, Wal-Mart is abandoning it’s standby "catch phrase" and launching, according to an article in the Washington Post: "
…an advertising campaign that plays up life’s little pleasures over no-frills practicality.
The new slogan: "Save Money ~ Live Better."
Why not? Wal-mart seems to be determined to dismantle every element Sam Walton put into place during his tenure as lead visionary of Wal-Mart.
Actually, abandoning the old catch phrase is probably appropriate. After all the company abandoned their commitment to low prices long ago and it’s not good business to have a catch phrase that causes cost-conscious shoppers to scoff as they examine prices in the aisles.
I can’t help but notice how the "new" slogan seems to be more in line with Target’s catch phrase "Expect More ~ Pay Less".
Despite their Numero Uno status, Wal-Mart lately has been in an INTENSE "me too" competition with Target. Wal-Mart is openly coveting Target’s customers and willing to abandon the scores of Wal-Mart faithful in order to win this small, tightly targeted niche which Target has expertly, excuse the pun, TARGETED!
A lot of industry "insiders" love the new approach. I personally see it as yet another step in the wrong direction.
In the Washington Post article:
Wal-Mart now is trying to persuade its more-affluent customers to see it as a destination for more than toilet paper and laundry detergent.
AH… there’s the rub! Wal-Mart is trying to speak to it’s "more affluent" customers. What they fail to see is the REASON those "more affluent customers" walked into the store in the first place.
Look to the early days of Wal-Mart if you want your small business to grow. Sam Walton knew his customers and what they wanted. Too bad there isn’t anyone left in Bentonville who shares Sam’s original vision.