Want people to buy more of your products? It helps if you have a woman in charge–and if you let everyone know it. In a study Walmart conducted of its customers, the retail giant found that shoppers are more likely to buy a product if they know it comes from a woman-owned business. With Walmart’s new “Women-Owned” logo, emphasizing the point is now a whole lot easier.
Created in collaboration with graphics agency Rouge24, the logo can be used by any company that is at least 51% owned by a woman. They just have to go through an independent review process conducted the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and WEConnect International.
“We committed in 2011 to source $20 billion [of products] from women-owned businesses,” says Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation. “The more we can do to make our customers aware of those products, the better.”
As part of a promotion for the initiative, Walmart is showcasing products from six women-owned companies–Milo’s Tea, Jelmar CLR Remover, HMS Mfg. Co Hefty Wastebaskets, Goldbug Inc. Carter’s Newborn Shoes, Ariela and Associates Smart & Sexy Bra, and Ziegenfelder’s Budget Saver Pops–in 2,900 of its stores. Online, all products from women-owned businesses have a tag. The products were chosen because they’re successful, relatively high-volume, and have wide-scale distribution in the Walmart store network.
Not all of those tagged products necessarily will have the Women-Owned logo. That’s up to individual companies, which don’t have to sell to Walmart at all to get the logo. “Our goal is to elevate women and their businesses. It’s not about making Walmart successful,” says McLaughlin. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Walmart’s sales of products from women-owned businesses are outpacing regular Walmart sales.
“The anecdotal evidence is that these products tend to be more innovative, more in tune with what women customers want,” she says.
The logo is just one piece of Walmart’s larger push to sell more from women-owned businesses. The company is also training women throughout its supply chain, and highlighting small women-owned businesses through the Empowering Women Together section of its website.