A brand should be creditable and relevant

So the question is, why would K-Mart automate a blue light bulb as their spokes character? Why is a blue light bulb the way to demonstrate low prices?

Now I know the blue light bulb has a “history” with K-Mart. It was used in the “glory days” of K-Mart. “K-Mart shoppers, look for the blue light (in the store) that spotlights today’s specials.” The blue light was a traffic signal within the store.

But now it’s taken on an animated life that speaks for K-Mart. Yes, it’s novel. Yes, it’s attention-getting. But it’s no longer just a brand signal, it’s become the core of the brand. So how does it generate credibility? How does it become relevant to people’s life? How is it different from Wal-Mart’s “smiley face”? And most importantly, how does a blue light bulb differentiate K-Mart in a meaningful way?

A blue light bulb means nothing to me. Connotations are absent. Relevancy is absent. Credibility is absent. Differentiation is almost absent.

 K-Mart’s blue light bulb becomes spoke character

As an identifier of K-Mart the blue light bulb works after a number of ads exposures. But we all know there’s more to a brand than awareness and the association with a character.

If the icon were a Jolly Green Giant or Betty Crocker or Mr. Clean, then you’d immediately get the connection and relevancy between brand and character.

Sorry, K-Mart. Resurrecting and promoting the blue light bulb to brand status just doesn’t cut it. Find a differentiator that people care about.

Martin Jelsema
303-242-5975

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