Established in 1983 (although dating back to 1966 when it was named Sound of Music) Best Buy is a retailer and provider of technology products, services, and solutions, with over 1,000 stores across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. (In the U.S., they proudly state that “more than 70 percent of the population lives within 15 minutes of a Best Buy store” — I live 2 minutes away from one, FWIW.) Best Buy is one of the few brick and mortar chains that has managed to survive the Amazon retail takeover and managed to post revenue of more than $42 billion in fiscal 2018. Yesterday, Best Buy introduced a new logo. The press release hints it was designed in-house.
For the first time in almost three decades, we’ve updated our logo. It’s now more modern and easier to read, especially in today’s digital world.
“Best Buy” still appears in bold, black font, but now it resides outside of our signature yellow tag. The tag serves as graphic punctuation and a visual connection to our history.
The old logo wasn’t great or a bastion of fine design execution but it was impressively, undeniably effective as a storefront element, making their stores visible and distinguishable from a mile away, driving at 60 miles per hour on a highway. The yellow tag matched the price display in the store and the blue background was matched by the now-famous, now-almost-hip blue shirts of the employees. The logo wasn’t suave or cool or elegant, nope, it was dorky, uncool, and cheap-looking but it has gotten the job done for over 30 years — they even tried to replace it in 2008 but it didn’t take.
The new logo is technically and aesthetically better, with more balanced letterforms — the type in the old logo may have been scaled horizontally — brighter colors, and an overall more refined look. I think they did a good job with the placement of the yellow tag, tucking it under the “Y” with the hole of the tag working almost like a period. (I don’t know why the hole ain’t a hole, though.) The spacing in the type is troublesome because it’s an unfortunate combination of nightmare-kerning-pairs and when set so tightly all the awkwardness is more evident and I wonder if the leading should be as tight as the letterspacing to create a more cohesive unit.
The biggest challenge this logo has, though, is the amount of time it will take for all those storefronts to change — and what are they going to change to? — as it will require a huge capital investment to update the most effective beacon of the brand.
Our new marketing strategy, which launches May 9, celebrates our new rallying cry: “Let’s talk about what’s possible.” It tells the story of our Blue Shirts and how we, as a company, aim to be an inspiring friend who helps customers understand what they want to do and how tech can help them achieve great, new things.
The creative elements of the refreshed branding include an updated Best Buy logo and a new look and feel with updated colors, photography and conversational language. It’s all designed to highlight our culture, our expertise and our talented employees.
The applications look sort of promising but that’s if I’m being optimistic. The conversation idea is kind of cheesy but with the right copywriting it could be engaging. “Tech as easy as Pizza”, though, is not going to cut it. Neither are those shadows in the speech bubbles. With some refinement these could be, if not good-good, at least mainstream-retailer-good.
New TV commercials and digital videos will debut on May 13. They focus on the Best Buy shopping experience, not just the products we sell.
The commercials highlight the Blue Shirt’s role as an inspiring friend who helps customers solve their needs and discover what’s possible with technology. The ads focus on the conversations between our Blue Shirts and our customers. The products are the payoff at the end.
The ads were shot in black and white, with the only color being the bright blue of the Best Buy employee’s shirt. The products, meanwhile, were shot against a bold, blue background.
The TV spot is cool but it confuses the brain — like, it’s too refined for Best Buy? But, certainly, that’s the point and not that I have any emotional investment in Best Buy but it’s heartening to see them try to be relevant, approachable, and… yeah, maybe even cool. Overall, the future of the logo is questionable mostly because it has to literally replace the major physical presence of the old logo but the new positioning of the Best Buy brand is sort of endearing, especially in contrast to its main competitor, Amazon, whose brand has evolved, I feel, into something soulless and human-less that can’t compete with something as relatable as blue polo shirts.
Thanks to John Mindiola III for the tip.