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Sometimes it’s Better to Just Rip off the Bandage
By: Elaine Reed
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Refreshing the look of a brand is no small task. Not only is it a huge undertaking for the company, rolling out the new look can be almost traumatic for consumers. Remember when Gap tried a new logo in 2010 and quickly changed it back? Between the bad press and the stressed-out customers, who wants to go through that? Clearly not Sears.

Since it acquired Land’s End in 2002, Sears has been trying to update its image from the place where men get their tools to a place women are excited to visit, too. And not just for an oil change and new tires. From Land’s End to the Kardashian clothing line, Sears has been stretching to bring customers back. In 2012 they introduced a points program and launched ShopYourWay.com. This website was a handy way to bring Sears, K-Mart, Land’s End, and other Sears-owned brands to the modern shopper in one place, minus the new-tire smell.

Fast forward to 2014. Sears' store signage matches the orange and grey color scheme of ShopYourWay.com, as do many of its email messages. In fact, I recently opened one of their emails and was surprised that it wasn’t an email from Discover Card. The classic navy blue logo was nowhere to be found in the email, even though the message encouraged me to shop Sears “in store or online.”

Sears getting a modern face lift is no big deal. But Sears phasing in such an extreme facelift that customers associate them with a brand that sells a completely different product? That’s bad news. I appreciate that the ShopYourWay site may have been a way to try out a new look. But it’s time to commit and enforce that look everywhere, even in Kmart stores. Will there be backlash? Maybe. But a customer becoming irate because they don’t like a new brand is far better than a customer getting confused over who they are doing business with.


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About the Author
Elaine Reed is a marketing professional with heavy emphasis on e-commerce and Internet marketing. She blogs regularly on her website and tweets often.
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