Wal-Mart recently announced its plans to market its Great Value house brand more aggressively, which certainly makes sense in light of the current economy. What makes much less sense, however, is the Great Value brand name, which screams “I’m cheap!”
To be sure, the prices of this product line are low, so you could argue that the name accurately describes the product. However, it’s important that a brand bring more to the party than just accuracy; it should also bring some cachet or some form of attractive imagery, even when attached to a low-priced product.
What’s more, Wal-Mart has the luxury of not needing to reinforce the fact that this line is low-priced; anyone shopping at Wal-Mart will know that this is a house brand, and if there’s anything this house stands for, it’s low prices. Thus, rather than a name that screams “I’m cheap!”, it would be far better to have one that screams “I’m smart!” (as in, “I’m smart enough not to waste money on premium-priced products that don’t deliver meaningfully better quality”). Possible names that come to mind include Smart!, Bright Choice, or even Wal-Smart.
The approach taken by Wal-Mart competitor Costco for its house brand is, although not pefect, much better. While its Kirkland brand doesn’t convey “I’m smart!” (it’s named for the city in which Costco is based), at least it doesn’t scream “I’m cheap!”