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May 30, 2007

Fascinating Wal-Mart Brand Analysis


Today’s NY Times shares fascinating insights into the Wal-Mart brand from a leaked brand analysis report. (Access the article from the site or from here.)

The report was conducted by Wal-Mart’s then agency-of-record, GSD&M, and according to the NY Times, this report, "... offers a rare glimpse of the concerns that are buffeting Wal-Mart’s retailing empire, from its flagging corporate reputation to the ‘near catastrophic’ economic pressures faced by its working class consumers.

For example, this report shares insights that Wal-Mart shoppers know other retailers offer smarter choices in a variety of revenue-important product categories. The report outlines the following …


Smart and illuminating fodder for all us marketers. I was surprised to find a copy of this GSD&M prepared Positioning Report for Wal-Mart (pdf) available on the NY Times website. Go upload and get the download on branding insights into the world’s largest retailer.

Expect to read more from me in the days to come after I've had a chance to fully digest this Wal-Mart Positioning Report. And if you have thoughts ... chime in with comments.


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Fantastic insight into the back rooms. It has always been my contention that the expanded product lines, to go after the next level shopper, were not going to succeed because of 2 things. Time and perception.

WalMart makes decisions based on very thin time slices. Changing the perception from Low Price to smart will take too long for the WalMart leadership. In the 5-fold Way I put WalMart at the head of the class for the "Low Price" position. They own that position and everyone knows it. If you are going to go outside your core strength it will take an education campaign and commitment. Both cost money and time. Again , two things WalMArt does not tolerate well.

Great find - right up your alley.
Thanks for sharing it. I need a plane ride to catch up on my reading, this will move to the top.

On the other hand, a great strength of Wal-Mart is that it exists in places where Best Buy, Kohl's, even Target and certainly Bed, Bath & Beyond simply don't exist: rural towns and inner cities. Other companies may beat them on quality, but Wal-Mart destoys them on presence. Wal-Mart, like the Post Office, may have a stigma, but they also have ubiquity and tap markets that the other stores will never dream of.

Yep, good point Dan. But Wal-Mart's future growth seems to be opening locations in the heart of cities and not on the outskirts. Best Buy, Kohl's, and Bed Bath & Beyond locations are found more in the heart of cities than on the outskirts.

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