How is it that once-venerable brands die and go by the wayside? Think about these retail brands: Woolworth’s, Sears & Roebuck, Walmart. What do they have in common? What are their differences? If you’re older than 40, you might know that these are the number one retail chains in succession over the last 100 years or so. If you’re younger than 40, you probably haven’t even heard of Woolworth’s and Sears is a distant memory. So what happened to these two?
They faded because they lost their ability to connect to customers. What has kept Walmart on top even in the face of online competition? They have adapted as their customers have. We could write a book on all the ways these opposite trends have occurred. But it all starts with branding.
Do you remember Walmart’s original brand? It was WAL*MART, all caps, ugly letters. Then it became Wal-Mart, and now it’s Walmart. They changed colors from the bolder blue and red to the softer, lighter, happier blue. They even repainted the outside of their stores. All of this is about branding.
Changing logos can be an expensive proposition, but many times it can cost you more if you don’t invest in your company face. If you fail to connect at this most basic level, your business will die, and without this knowledge, you probably wouldn’t know why.