Lowe's takes page from 'SNL' script in latest its price message

Posted on Mon May 4 2009

Lowe's is at it again. This time, to prove how low its prices are, it has co-opted Seth Meyers' "Really?" sketch from Saturday Night Live. "Really?" says the couple shopping for floor tiles when they see the prices at Lowe's. Relying on humor, albeit someone else's, is far better than claiming to have the lowest prices—lower than anyone, anywhere, which had been the previous tack. Having a little fun with the pricing jibes with the joyousness of the spring season, when many people are happily looking to fix thing around the house, get organized and get a little dirty landscaping. Still, in these tight times, Lowe's might have to compete with consumers who might simply borrow tools from a neighbor—sort of like Lowe's borrowed the SNL skit. (This is becoming something of a trend. Pepsi crashed the MacGruber skit and aired it during the Super Bowl.) I wonder if Lowe's has to pay Lorne Michaels' writing team royalties? At the very least, each writer should get a $25 gift card so they can buy some mulch.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Lowe's backtracks, stops telling everyone how cheap they are

Posted on Tue Apr 7 2009

Lowes

Perhaps the marketing folks at Lowe's are avid BrandFreak readers. Either that or they came to their senses on their own. The home-improvement retailer appears to have scrapped the remodeling plans it had for its ad campaign. Earlier this year, the chain cleverly tacked at "t" at the end of its name and boldly proclaimed it had "the lowest prices." While adding the "t" was a nifty trick from a Scrabble point of view, it was a losing game for a chain that has an air of quality compared to its main rival, Home Depot. To abandon that hard-earned cachet in a race to become the cheapest store in the country would have been a disaster of Saks Fifth Avenue proportions. So, instead, Lowe's has returned to its less definitive, Gene-Hackman-voiced "Everyday low prices" message. This is smart. In the end, Lowe's could never own the reputation as being the cheapest. Wal-Mart has already secured that territory. 

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Lowe's hammers out a new plan to do the limbo with its margins

Posted on Thu Mar 5 2009

Lowes copy

The ripple effects of the collapsed housing market are being felt everywhere—real estate companies, contractors, building supply companies. As a result, chains like Home Depot (aka contractor central) and Lowe's have been suffering. And in the battle between the two biggest warehouse providers of hardware, home goods and building materials, it appears Lowe's has blinked first.
  The chain, which had a built-in quality message thanks to its cleaner stores, solid customer service and distinct lack of blinding blaze orange, has decided to play the price game. Its new ads, voiced as usual by Gene Hackman, do not highlight the reasons why people like Lowe's. Rather, they boldly claim that Lowe's has the lowest prices, guaranteed. To drive home the point, it's slapped the letter "t" at the end of its name to form the word "Lowest." While that's a cute, Sesame Street-like exercise in how to form new words by adding letters, it is also a potentially crippling exercise in short-term thinking. Lowe's has now committed itself to Wal-Mart territory. No longer is it about quality and helpfulness; it's about being cheap. And while "Everyday low prices" has always been a part of Wal-Mart's brand messaging, that is a much different promise than "The lowest prices guaranteed." If I were Gene Hackman, I'd be concerned that the chain soon won't be able to afford my voiceover work.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein


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