A More Socially Minded Best Buy?

Best Buy Logo Redesign

Best Buy recently began to reevaluate their corporate brand identity with, among other points of marketing collateral, a refreshed logoform.
Part of a larger marketing strategy as reported by RetailNet Group, the proposed although not finalized new corporate logo (left) is an interesting departure from the company’s existing ‘price tag’ version (right) which has been in use since 1987. Using a modified Klavika font setting, the lower case sans-serif font is a stark contrast to the all upper-case typeface previously used. The horizontal typographic setting visually feels more contemporary and less edgy while the drastic reduction in yellow conveys a softer, more open tone.  A smaller and simplified price tag element (notice the modified shape) de-emphasizes the notion that low prices are the company’s number one core value offering.

Brand Strategy:
People (not the stuff) make the difference
Consumer behaviour is moving online and people now have the power to influence and shape brands. Sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Craigslist epitomize a societal shift towards peer to peer production in which people use technologies (e.g. Linux and BitTorrent) to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations. Loosely, this trend is known as the groundswell effect, encompassing 3 distinct forces: people, technology, and economics (Read: Groundswell by Forrester Research).
Best Buy, clearly aware of this phenomenon is considering a new tag line: “you. happier” which speaks to a new positioning strategy that effectively differentiates their expertise, service (e.g. Geek Squad), and shopping experience from competitors.
In reading through some of the recent discussions online, it has been suggested by some that Best Buy intend to, among other things, position their brand more upscale with less emphasis on price competition. While this and other points may appear to be unsubstantiated conjecture, the truth (if you really want to know) on what the company is thinking with regard to its marketing efforts can be read on the Chief Marketing Officer’s blog.

A More Socially Minded Logo?
So, is this the beginning of a more socially minded Best Buy or just a synthetic composite of the Web’s most prolific social network?

Personally, I think what Best Buy is trying to say with their proposed new identity is that they want to be seen as more open and personable. Perhaps they acknowledge the era of the cold and austere big-box retail environment is coming to an end.
Accessibility -by this I mean purchasing technology-based products shouldn’t be a daunting experience, and social mindedness reflect the new consumer mindset; personalized, focused service -not just low prices, are what consumers really desire.

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