If You Don’t Know Who You Are, a New Logo Won’t Help Your Company

In it’s most recent attempt to improve its image and reconnect with consumers, Sears unveiled a new logo that it hoped would “represent a combination of a home and a heart.”

While there were those who applauded Sears’ effort to rebrand, other people took to social media to mock the design’s close resemblance to the Airbnb logo.

Image Source: Fox Business

One amusing Facebook comment stated, “Air B&B called – said they want their logo back.” But the comment that really resonated was this one:

“A new logo is not going to save Sears.” ~ CNBC

Tou·ché! As Jim Cusson, president of the retail marketing agency, Theory House, points out, “Sears has a wealth of challenges facing them . . . I hate to use the expression ‘putting lipstick on a pig,’ but I think there were more critical issues to address than putting a new face on the store.

Rain wrote about these ‘critical issues’ in another blog post, where we posed the question, “How does a company that was once “America’s most famous retailer” lose ground so profoundly? The short answer is that the company lost sight of what it was about.

On The Retail Doctor‘s website, Bob Phibbs states, “The foundation of culture was built on customers’ aspirations and their desire at having the good things in life. Their salespeople were there to help them achieve it.”

In their efforts to improve the customer experience, Sears implemented the social sharing site Shop Your Way and placed iPads in nearly 450 Sears and Kmart stores to help bridge the online and offline shopping experience.

Arguably, technology is a great tool for enhancing customer service, but it is NOT a substitute for knowledgeable, friendly store associates who are the facilitators of humanized and personalized shopping experiences.

Focusing on technology certainly didn’t do Sears any favors when it came to the appearance of their stores, which had fallen into disrepair. According to Big Basket Co., “When customers enter a disheveled, gross and unorganized store, their first impression equates to, ‘I’m not spending my money here!’”

That seems to have been the case in a 2018 article by USA Today,  pointing out how Sears stores across the nation were facing virtually empty parking lots.

Although Sears had a savvy marketing team that created some “feel-good” commercials, with promises of all the great items customers can expect to find at its stores, the claims didn’t match what shoppers actually encountered when they got there.

Sears had also lost track of what customers were actually buying, stocking things like boomboxes that played CDs and speakers that would only connect to iPhone 4s. This resulted in products sitting on the shelves, because trends had moved on, along with the shopper’s needs and desires.

The brand’s 1980’s “Softer Side of Sears” campaign moved the company away from its previous customer demographic—interested in tools and appliances—attempting to change up its customer base and attract more women. Needless to say, existing customers who already contributed to Sears’ revenue were neglected.

As you can see from the examples above, Sears was losing ground due to many areas of critical importance.


Yes. Sears appears to finally be making an effort to revive business, following years of slumping sales. But a new logo—and one that seems to be confusing consumers, at that—isn’t going to save the company.

To repeat a sentiment relayed earlier in the article, the brand is attempting to put lipstick on a pig, instead of addressing more important issues.

Where once the foundation of the Sears culture was built upon the aspirations of their customers and how to help them acquire the good things in life through their store’s products and services, today the retailer doesn’t seem to have a clear mission or vision for the future.

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Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and two small business e-books. She is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime. A graduate of Brigham Young University, she worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current writing position at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with small business owners.