Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Wal-Mart Changing Marketing

There's an interesting WSJ story today about Wal-Mart. Two things of importance there. First, they are coming out with an new advertising campaign that is softer and more emotional. The new campaign sounds pretty good. It should play well, especially with women, who hold the majority of retail buying power in America. The campaign's goal is to strike an emtional chord. That's almost always a very good thing in advertising. (By the way, love to hear what marketing-to-women guru Marti Barletta thinks of this new ad campaign.)

Notably, the giant retailer is also pondering its positioning. We all know that Wal-Mart offers the lowest prices. It's been drilled into our brains with consistency of message, repetition and huge advertising investments. "Always Low Prices. Always."

The WSJ news story reports that one of the possible new positioning statements is "Save Money, Live Better." I don't know about you, but I'm not crazy about that one. In fact, I do not feel that Wal-Mart should try to reposition itself. No matter what they do, they will always be associated with "Always Low Prices." That is simply the position they've have attained. It is indelible in the global consumer mindspace. Pork will always be "the other white meat." Likewise, Florida will always be "The Sunshine State."

I ask you, marketing geniuses around the world, what do you think? Should Wal-Mart attempt to reposition itself?

Here's the story excerpt (below)
Wal-Mart Raises Its Emotional Pitch

Wal-Mart Stores' back-to-school ad blitz aims to emphasize its product selection while striking an emotional chord with customers -- a sharp departure from its usual price-centric pitches.

New 30-second television spots are Wal-Mart's first major launch under Martin Agency, hired earlier this year. The new campaign comes as the world's largest retailer is anxious to keep a June sales lift going after disappointing spring sales.

Last year, the company promoted a more upscale image in a campaign that fizzled. This year's back-to-school push drops the once-ubiquitous smiley-face character and price "rollback" themes for a pitch in which actor-customers talk about how Wal-Mart fits their lifestyles. In one, actors recall childhood school-clothing choices while lauding Wal-Mart's low prices.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's pretty cool! You'll also want to check out The guy who runs it has a good eye for nice offers!

11:33 PM

Anonymous Jay said...

Hi, I wish if i can share my research on Top Retail Trade Portals and List of 75+ Retail Shopping Trade Portals here.


4:16 AM

Blogger Nicole Rufuku said...

Great post! But I think that sometimes consistency is overrated - it's okay for brands to evolve and transform. The reason this transformation works is because Wal-Mart is not abandoning it's original message, they're simply adding to it. We all know what Wal-Mart stands for...and some of us aren't turned on by it. The new position allows me to apply it to my life, even though I'm not obsessed with the price of my laundry detergent.

10:28 PM

Blogger Skip Lineberg said...


Thank you for your very insightful comment. Your perspective on the Wal-Mart rebranding is very helpful. I can see your point. If they can reach out and attract customers, like you, who are not price shoppers, Wal-Mart will enjoy even more growth. It will be interesting to see.

Also- I will be reading and following your new blog. Great stuff so far! Welcome to the blogosphere.


12:48 PM


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