Sparking a transformation at the world’s largest retailer
A.R.E. Design Awards: Identity Design
International Visual Identity Awards: Identity Design
REBRAND 100: Identity Design
SEGD Global Design Awards: Jury Award
GDUSA American Graphic Design Awards: Identity Design
Chain Store Age Awards: Supermarket Store of the Year; Discount Store of the Year; International Retail Store of the Year
AIGA Awards: Brand and Identity Systems Design
How do you pivot the world’s largest retailer to speak to a newly expanded customer base, a new shopping experience, a new merchandise mix and a new level of confidence from its 1.5 million employees? It requires a solid belief system that an internal culture will passionately rally behind, and it extends to a vibrant makeover that inspires everyone who walks through its doors.
Walmart’s 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 its 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.
The Lippincott team systematically worked its way through every piece of the brand, beginning with the organization’s behind-the-scenes culture. To achieve internal buy-in, we redesigned the company’s headquarters and led employee engagement programs. By transforming Walmart employment into Walmart brand ambassadorship, we encouraged employees to believe in — and deliver on — their roles in helping customers live better lives.
We also translated Walmart’s brand into all aspects of the in-store experience. With a positioning grounded in feeling smart and happy about everyday choices, we emphasized an easy-to-navigate store layout and an intuitive shopping experience with new store floor plans and signage. Overall, these extensive visual and experiential changes led to a warmer, more modern, brighter and friendlier store and shopping experience.
As the refreshed brand focuses on the emotional payoffs of saving money, we created two complementary visual assets to reflect that promise. The new logo features a brilliantly simple Spark. Evocative of the light bulb that goes off in your head when you feel smart about something, or the burst of energy you feel when you enjoy a better life, the Spark speaks to the emotional foundation of the brand. The Spark is complemented by its kindred new tagline, “Save money. Live better,” which resonates with legacy Walmart shoppers but also with new customer segments who see value as an enabler to a better, less compromised life. Together, logo and tagline complete the simple but powerful value calculus of the newly enlivened brand.
As a result, Walmart’s performance on key brand attributes continues to improve. Between 2008 and 2010, ratings for how “fast,” “friendly” and “clean” Walmart was increased significantly. Additionally, the company maintained traffic from core customers while growing traffic by approximately 7 percent from customers with incomes above $75,000 — an underrepresented customer segment for Walmart prior to the brand revitalization.