Walmart’s slogan is more than simple advertising — the four-word branding represents Walmart’s worldwide mission and also has a rich history dating back to its founder.
Though it took a few incarnations to become the slogan we see today on every Walmart bag, truck, and store sign, the story behind the slogan is intriguing. Walmart has often said the best ideas come from its own associates. In the case of the Walmart slogan, this principle proved to be true.
What Is Walmart’s Slogan?
Walmart’s slogan is “Save Money. Live Better.” The slogan represents Walmart’s mission of offering low prices on quality items to its customers in order to help shoppers live better lives.
Walmart Slogan History
As with many companies, Walmart has used various takes on its slogan to convey its message of saving people money. Here’s how the slogan has evolved over the years:
- 1962-1988: Always Low Prices. Always.
- 1988-1994: Always The Low Price. Always.
- 1994-1996: Always Low Prices. Always Walmart.
- 1996-1999: Better Every Day Low Prices! Always.
- 1999-2007: Always Low Prices. Always.
- 2007-present: Save Money. Live Better.
Walmart has always changed its slogan to launch a branding update. However, the 1994 slogan change was a result of a complaint from the National Advertising Review Board. The Board suggested that Walmart’s slogan “Always The Low Price. Always” was deceptive. The original complaint had been raised by the Better Business Bureaus and several Walmart retail competitors.
The complaint stated that “Always The Low Price. Always” was not true. It suggested that Walmart would have the lowest price on every item in their store at all times.
The Board agreed that the slogan could mislead customers. Walmart was forced to change its slogan from “Always The Low Price. Always” to “Always Low Prices. Always.”
Who Created “Save Money. Live Better.”?
Having gone through a few low price-themed slogans, Walmart wanted a fresh take to go with its new branding in 2007. The company did not have to look far to find the right words to capture the its long-standing mission. The slogan came straight from words spoken years earlier by Walmart founder Sam Walton.
In March 1992, President George H. Bush presented Sam Walton with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In his acceptance speech, Sam Walton said:
If we can, we’ll lower the cost of living for everyone, not just in America but we’ll give the world an opportunity to see what it’s like to save and have a better lifestyle and a better life… a better life for all.
“Save Money. Live Better.” was taken from this passage of Sam Walton’s speech. The four words perfectly encapsulate Walmart’s goal to give customers the best prices on items they need so they can live a better life.
Who Created the Name “Walmart”?
While Sam Walton had the vision for “Save Money. Live Better.” as Walmart’s mission, the company name itself is credited to Bob Bogle. Bogle was Sam Walton’s first manager at the Walton Five and Dime in Bentonville, AR. He worked for Walmart for 28 years before retiring in 1982.
As Bogle told the story, Sam Walton had not decided on a name for his new company as the first Walmart store was being built. He pitched a few different names to Bogle, but they were all very long names. Bogle explained to Sam Walton that each letter would have to be illuminated on the outside of the store, and more letters meant a higher cost in electricity to keep them lit.
Kmart was a successful company at the time and a name customers knew. Bogle suggested Sam Walton do something like Kmart, but incorporate Sam’s name into it. He took a piece of paper, wrote “WALMART” on it, and handed it to Sam. Bogle said Sam just looked at it and put the paper in his pocket.
Bob Bogle had no idea what Sam Walton thought of his idea for the company name. It was not until much later when he saw the seven letters being mounted on the first Walmart store that he realized Sam had approved!
What Is the Walmart Logo?
In the early 2000s when Walmart launched its new branding, the company introduced a logo. Other companies have found success by attaching a graphic or character to their brand: Nike has the “swoosh,” Target has the three-ring target, Apple has the apple logo.
To capture the Walmart mission of saving customers money so they can live better, the company developed the yellow six-petal graphic we see today. This is the “Walmart Spark.”
According to Walmart’s Digital Museum, the Walmart Spark represents the spark of inspiration founder Sam Walton had in 1962 to open the first Walmart store. That spark gave him the vision to put the customer first, save them money by selling quality products at low margins, and profit by selling in greater volume instead of higher margins. This “spark of inspiration” is what the company strives to instill in its associates today.
The Walmart Digital Museum goes on to explain that each of the spark’s six yellow petals represents a value of the company:
- The customer is the boss
- Show respect for the individual
- Act with the highest level of integrity
- Walmart’s associates make the difference
- Serving customers comes first
- The goal is excellence in everything
Is It Walmart or Wal-Mart?
The simple answer is: it’s changed over the years!
Just as Walmart has changed its slogan and branding over time, part of the brand change is how the company spells its name. In fact, the first branding for the company in 1962 featured the name WALMART in all capital letters with no hyphen.
In 1964, Walmart rebranded and began printing its name as WAL-MART. Interestingly, in the font used from 1964 – 1981, the hyphen appeared to have tails or swooshes at each end. It actually looked more like a tilde (~) than a hyphen (-). As a result, the hyphen came to be called the “squiggly.”
Even today when Walmart associates warm up a meeting by performing a Walmart cheer (“Give me a W, give me an A, give me an L…”), they will include the “give me a squiggly,” in which the participants wiggle.
Walmart once again changed its font in 1982. This time WAL-MART remained in all capital letters, but the hyphen was more distinguishable as a solid rectangle.
The year 1992 brought an interesting brand change. Walmart kept its name in all capital letters, but replaced the hyphen with a star. The branding stayed with the star in the company name until 2008.
With new branding being developed in 2007 – 2008, Walmart changed its font, style, and colors to represent a softer approach. Going back to Walmart as all one word (no hyphen, star, or squiggly!), the company changed its all capital letter font and went to the capital W and lower case letters we see today.
As a current or aspiring Walmart supplier, understanding the company’s history, culture, and mission go a long way. Sharing the common goal of giving customers the best price on quality products will only improve sales, supply chain, and business strategies to satisfy the customer.
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