Is Lowe’s doing it right with its new tagline?
As Lowe’s Hardware struggles to turn itself around and get out of Home Depot’s shadow, it is branding itself with a new tagline that has struck some as a little familiar.
The chain unveiled its new slogan, “Do It Right For Less,” last week on an investor presentation according to a Bloomberg article, which further observed that the new Lowe’s tagline is not all that far off from Home Depot’s “More Saving. More Doing.” The similarity in the appeal to price and productivity draws attention to the fact that the chain is now helmed by CEO Marvin Ellison, who spent years in upper-level positions at Home Depot (until leaving that chain for J.C. Penney in 2014).
The new branding isn’t the first change that Mr. Ellison has made since joining Lowe’s.
In August of 2018, Mr. Ellison announced the closure of all 99 of Lowe’s Orchard Hardware Supply stores and the sub-brand’s distribution center. He referred to Lowe’s acquisition of the failing chain previous to his tenure as a mistake. The move indicated to some that Mr. Ellison had learned a lesson about the importance of closing underperforming locations, after failing to do so while CEO of J.C. Penney.
Mr. Ellison has also made some behind-the-scenes changes to the home improvement chain. In July of 2018, he introduced a new organizational structure that eliminated a few major c-suite roles and others, including EVP of supply chain and EVP of stores.
Before Mr. Ellison’s arrival and dating back to the earlier part of the decade, Lowe’s had been trying to take a high-tech tack to transcend the number two spot in home improvement. The 2014 pilot of OSHBot promised a new kind of robot-facilitated customer service for shoppers. The retailer’s Innovation Lab also developed tools like the Lowe’s Holoroom VR solution for interior design. The chain was also an early explorer of the small, localized urban concept, which other chains like Target have used with success.
But the tech investments didn’t seem to boost the bottom line. In 2018, customers purchased lower-margin goods and made use of home delivery, which ate into profits.
- Lowe’s Unveils a New Slogan That Sounds a Lot Like Home Depot’s – Bloomberg
- Ellison shaking things up at Lowe’s – RetailWire
- Lowe’s new sales help seems a little robotic – RetailWire
- New NYC Lowe’s locations are small format, high tech – RetailWire
- Lowe’s innovates because it has to – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think Lowe’s under Marvin Ellison is developing a unique point of difference in its daily competition with Home Depot? Will Lowe’s marketing emphasis as captured in its tagline help in those efforts?