The “Kinder Gentler” Wal-Mart?

Posted by John Park on Jul 22nd, 2008
Jul 22

Wal-Mart's New Logo

If you haven’t seen it already, Wal-Mart has a new retail logo.  So, why do this now?  Here is my opinion on the new brand.
As everyone on earth witnessed over the past two decades, the phenomenal growth of the retail behemoth has been nothing less than astounding.  And like all battles won, there were more than a few casualties along the way as they became the world’s largest corporation.  The trail blazed by the original “Box Store” is filled with bankrupt small businesses, U.S. factory closings, denied unions and questionable employment practices.  To the chagrin of Wal-Mart executives, all of these real or alleged issues have led to a tremendous amount of negative press further fueling the anti-Wal-Mart public sentiment.  Not all of it is deserved by the way.  Before writing this piece, I spent some time at their corporate web site and was pleased to see all of the good they seem to be doing as a company.  The company has over 2 million employees (1.4 million in the U.S.).  With that many people on staff, I am not sure if it would be possible to avoid negative press.  It’s literally a numbers game at that point.
When you analyze their previous logo, it was incredibly befitting for who they were for the past decade or so.  The letters are big, block-shaped and have sharp corners representing the strength, power and maybe the “bully” in their corporate persona.  Add the star instead of a hyphen, color the whole thing in a conservative navy blue and you have the makings of “Wal-Mart The Conqueror”.
Before I get a letter in the mail from their legal team, let’s move on to the new logo.
The colors are not as cold or defined.  They are soft and warm.  The font choice is less “blocky” and the shape is slimmer.  There is also the proverbial “sun burst”.  When all else fails, add a sun burst.  Why not, it represents the source of all that is life.  It can also be used as a eureka-moment icon and it looks a lot like flower pedals.  Who doesn’t like flower pedals in their new logo especially when everything and anything ENVIRONMENTAL & GREEN sells in this economy.


The reasons for this transition from their previous logo to this new brand is so obvious that I just couldn’t resist blogging about it.  An image makeover was badly needed and of course the first place to rightfully start was the retail logo.
What do you think?  Will you see Wal-Mart in a new light?  Maybe, you are already a Wal-Mart fan and are blissfully hypnotized by their super low prices (made in China).
Amazing what a simple logo makeover can do, isn’t it?  What does your company logo say about you?


One Response

  1. Katherine Says:

    Ah, if Sam Walton could only see what happened to his “American Products made by Americans for Americans” he might never stop throwing up (to paraphrase Woody Allen). They are working VERY HARD on that image…and after bankrupting employees and communities alike they have quite a long way to go!!!!

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