It all began
with Sam Walton, the man who gave his name to the leading worldwide distributor
(Turnover: 374.5 billion $ in 2007, i.e., 3% of the GNP in the USA).
Sam Walton built a distribution chain based on a real vision of the world: a company deeply ingrained in the "community", with the will to give the middle-class American in rural America the access to consumer goods that those living in the large urban cities already enjoyed, and the promotion of family values: family, community, religion, patriotism ... and the Calvinistic values of thrift and savings.
This is reflected in the use of the colours of the American flag.
Sam Walton died in 1992: the logo was then altered to include a blue star. For Wal-Mart, this star is an emblem of the presence of its founder. It symbolizes his role as its guide. The logo also carried alongside the famous slogan, "Always Low Prices, Always" – the assertion of its positioning in terms of price that made it famous.
In 2008 the slogan and logo were altered again.
What does this change tell us concerning a brand for which symbolism is so present?
The new logo and the slogan reinforce each other:
- The slogan tells us about life: it is by saving money (with the help of Walmart) that we can live better. We move away from the sole discourse of price: low prices thus become the facilitators of a "better life".
- The logo takes on a living dimension, sunny and aerial: by changing the shade of blue (to a tone of blue that is usually associated with air, blue skies, the buoyancy of life), by using lower-case and rounded characters – more "organic" and dynamic than capitals, and by the star that was changed to a yellow star/sun. Sam Walton is always present: He shines, he guides, he becomes the guarantor to "live better".
Here therefore is a truly visionary brand from which our French distributors could take inspiration: In an era where every one has become a champion of woe, Walmart innovates and positions itself as a true leader. We will see shortly that this is the result of an evolution that started in 2005.