Walmart slogan could be simpler
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
29 September 2014
Walmart would be even stronger with a simpler theme
The Walmart slogan. Don’t kid yourself. Words are important. In brand development, they are key because they provide the scaffolding upon which a brand can engage prospects and customers to remember and prefer them.
The hardest part of brand strategy and positioning is to remain single-minded. The human tendency to complicate the simple and claim more than one position is a challenge under the best of conditions. When you play the game with scared money (a term gamblers use for playing with money you can’t afford to lose) the tendency to drift from a single-minded idea to multiple messages becomes more alluring.
“So what is the Walmart slogan promising? Save Money. Live Better. Two ideas and two claims.”
After all, it seems to make sense when you are the market leader to claim as many emotional support points that you can. The problem is that it is the worst thing you can do. After all, if you can’t decide who you are how can you expect a prospect to figure it out? (I guess it must be in the water, I wrote about the same problem with MOEN last week)
Not just Walmart slogan. Look at Miller’s example
Probably the most famous example of this duality can be found in Lite Beer from Miller. Miller singlehandedly built the light beer segment and trademarked the best brand name in the category— Lite Beer. But it all went to hell when Miller tried to claim two values. Tastes Great. Less Filling. Enter the competitors. Today, both Bud Light and Coors Light outsell the original “Lite” beer.
It is not just naive marketing that doomed Lite Beer. It was a much deeper problem, which is why Miller should pay attention to words. Words give us a glimpse at what the brand management believes to be true. For Miller, the problem turned out not just to be a common cold virus, it might just have well been Ebola.
It was a symptom of a bigger issue. A glimpse inside. Miller was a brand that could not decide between two category claims. It refused to make a strategic decision and forgot to salute Picasso when he said, “Omission is a creative art.” The decision to try to own two themes was just the tip of the iceberg that went on to sink the Titanic of Miller brands. Most likely, Miller left the branding to an ad agency. A big mistake when dealing with brand themes. (Read our detailed market study on the retail segment here).
Walmart slogan. What’s the promise?
So what is the Walmart slogan promising? Save Money. Live Better. Two ideas and two claims. Because Walmart already owns “Save Money,” it should have just been about “Live Better.” It is far more emotional and it extends the personal value of saving money to living better. (Read how to use emotional switching triggers here)
The fact that Walmert blundered this badly is not in itself fatal. But the thinking that it is OK is. It is one of the first chinks in the armor of the world’s largest retailer. Something or someone is terribly confused. It won’t stop there. It is just the first visible signs of a cancer within the company’s marketing and branding. (Read how to analyze a market here).
Video Advertising Bureau Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 18 October 2018 The Video Advertising Bureau recommends crap Can you sing the Wayfair jingle? The Video Advertising Bureau wants you to believe it’s so important. "Is the future uncertain? Nope. It’s...
Target brand Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 17 October 2018 The Target brand takes advantage of an opportunity The Target brand is planning to create a new toy initiative in stores and online as the retailer enters into the Christmas selling season. Spurred...
Palm device Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 16 October 2018 A Palm device is back. Yay. Here is a novel idea. How about all these aging tech companies — you know, those unwilling to give up the ghost — just send me their extra cash. That way, they won’t need...