A U.S. judge rejected Wal-Mart’s claim last week that a Conyers, Ga man violated their smiley-face trademark when he used it and their name to convey that Wal-Mart is trying to take over the world. He created T-shirts, beer steins, coffee mugs and other items using the smiley face and sported slogans such as “Wal-ocaust” and “Wal-Qaeda.”
It’s doubtful those negative products would crippleWal-Mart’s image and business and positive use of the happy face. After all,Wal-Mart has been in front of city councils all over the country fighting resident groups who believe they are bad for overall the American economy, blue-collar workers, and are just ugly buildings. There is already a PR and community relations battle.
So, the purpose of the smiley face along with the words “roll back” has been used to personify the store. Customers are expected to hear: “We’ve cut back the prices because we know you work hard and deserve a break. Keep your savings.”
And it looks like they’ll want to keep Mr. Smiley for a long time. Sorry, Mr. Conyers.
But let’s just say 15 years from now Wal-Mart reconsiders a new trademark for their brand, what should they go with?
Here are a few suggestions:
- What about a thumbs up? Good job. Everything’s OK. We’re looking out for you.
- Or the two fingers peace sign? It means peace and Richard Nixon used it.
- Or happy shining pennies?
What trademark would you suggest?