Wal Mart's Identity Crisis

"Always low prices" has been Wal-Mart's slogan for nearly 20 years, but it appears that it will not always be its slogan! The company has rolled out the tagline "Save money. Live better." This move is the latest attempt by Wal-Mart to be relevant in a space other than low prices. A major initiative to change perceptions of its apparel business as trendy and fashionable has been unsuccessful. Now, Wal-Mart is trying to convince us that its brand provides higher order benefits than saving a few bucks. I never stopped to realize that I can pursue my dreams because I spent less at Wal-Mart and can spend the money on other things!

It's almost as if Wal-Mart feels inferior to be known only for low prices, that the brand is not sophisticated or important in its current position. It is difficult for a value brand like Wal-Mart to move upscale. Other companies have succeeded by creating separate identities for brands targeted beyond the value-driven market (e.g., Toyota>Lexus and Black & Decker>DeWalt). Wal-Mart made the right choice in not abandoning the low price position completely, but it faces a tough task in moving itself toward being a lifestyle brand. Link