Sears, Sears, and Sears Again

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Brand consistency is one of the most important ways of marketing your business, but apparently certain stores seem to have not received the memo. One of the biggest perpetrators of branding crimes is national retailer Sears, which has recently introduced their third logo design. No, it is not the third logo ever; there have probably been hundreds of designs used throughout the companies more than century in business. This is the third logo that the company is using at this time.

Sears appears to be taking an interesting approach to branding. Every time that they adopt a new logo, they continue to use the old ones. This logo design makes the third one that is being used concurrently by the business. In fact, you can see two and sometimes all three of them on the company’s website home page.

The first of the three logos is rather simple, with a basic font underlined by a simply wave similar to a swoosh. The red, white, and blue color palette is appropriate for this all American company. The thin line that flows through the letters combined with the wave give a feeling of movement and change, which was important because the company was reconfiguring and trying to modernize when the logo design was first introduced. The second logo design is the same basic idea, but with capital letters and no wavy underlining. Although the company would have been best served b y moving quickly to the new logo, it was able to successfully use both logos because they are similar in style and support a similar brand.

Now, a third logo design has been introduced, this one very different from the previous two. In thin, lower case letters that are gently rounded, this logo seems to suggest a softer, more feminine store—which is a change for a retailer known best for its auto supplies and wide selection of tools. Blue is still the main color, but several soft and feminine shades are replacing the bold and patriotic blue hue. The way the shades of blue are aligned seems to give a shiny, three dimensional feeling that is more in keeping with web 2.0 trends we are seeing right now.

This brand is definitely a change for the embattled retailer, which has struggled for decades to stay afloat as a general retailer in a market where specialists dominate. However, it may lack the distinction needed to stand on its own. Is this the reason that Sears has yet to abandon their older logos? Whatever the reason, it is time for the company to settle on a logo design and a brand once and for all. Consistency is the only way to survive in this market. While offering several logos that appeal to different groups may seem like a well rounded choice, in the end it will only create a muddled and unremarkable brand. With teams of marketing and logo design staff at their behest, it shouldn’t be hard for Sears to find a direction and begin moving in the right direction.