The yellow price tag isn’t going away, but it’s no longer front and center in an updated logo Best Buy is revealing Wednesday.
The first refresh of the logo in nearly three decades is part of a new marketing strategy as the Richfield-based electronics chain increasingly focuses not just on products and prices, but also the value espoused by its Best Buy 2020 strategy: helping improve customers’ lives through technology.
“We feel our biggest advantage is our people,” and in particular the blue-shirted store employees, said Whit Alexander, Best Buy’s chief marketing officer. “We wanted to find tools and a platform to talk about our people more loudly.”
So the language on its website, in its ads and in new commercials that will begin airing this weekend will focus more on the people factor and have a more conversational tone.
The new tagline, or, as Alexander calls it, a rallying cry: “Let’s talk about what’s possible.”
Best Buy has been using the phrase internally to inspire and galvanize corporate employees.
Being retired is the company’s previous motto, “Expert Service. Unbeatable Price” — a hallmark of Best Buy’s turnaround days when the retailer emphasized its price-match guarantee in order to survive the existential threat brought on by Amazon.
“Refreshing their logo makes a lot of sense, especially after roughly three decades of having the same one,” said Dave Brennan, professor emeritus of marketing at the University of St. Thomas. “The timing is also very good because they’ve weathered the storm of the Great Recession and the most recent one of Amazon.”
Other retailers have updated their logos over the years. For example, Minneapolis-based Target’s iconic bull’s-eye initially had three red circles with the name “Target” inside of it. It now just has two red circles without the name in it.
Best Buy’s yellow-tag logo dates back to the 1980s when the retailer was transitioning from Sound of Music stores to a national big-box retailer focused on electronics and competitive prices.
In the previous iteration, the price tag carried Best Buy’s name. The new version has Best Buy’s name standing on its own, with the yellow tag smaller and moved to the side.
That yellow price tag continues to have meaning and is part of the chain’s identity, Alexander said.
“We’re proud of that history, but we also wanted to modernize it without walking away totally,” he said. “We still care about things like price. … But that’s not the totality of our story.”
He added that the new logo also has a cleaner look, and its design can be used more easily in different formats, including digital ones.
The new look debuts Wednesday on Best Buy’s website. Employees’ blue shirts and in-store signs will be updated in coming months.
While Best Buy has used a range of blues in the past, it’s now going to be more consistent in using the hue that Alexander calls the company’s “blue-shirt blue.”
“It’s cleaned up and simplified,” he said. “But more importantly, it’s putting our weight behind the things that are symbolic about our brand such as the blue shirts.”
The new commercials, which are narrated by actress Scarlett Johansson and directed by Errol Morris, were shot in black and white except the bright blue of Best Buy employees’ shirts.
Kavita Kumar • 612-673-4113