Lowe's Unveils a New Slogan That Sounds a Lot Like Home Depot's

(Bloomberg) -- In his bid to turn around Lowe’s Cos., Chief Executive Officer Marvin Ellison is borrowing heavily from his earlier career at Home Depot Inc. And now that even includes its slogan.

This spring, Lowe’s will start using the phrase “Do It Right For Less.” The slogan, unveiled during an investor presentation on Wednesday, emphasizes the savings customers can find by taking on home projects themselves -- much like Home Depot’s “More Saving. More Doing.”

The new slogan marks a strategic shift by Lowe’s to win over ambitious do-it-yourselfers. Compared with most homeowners, that group spends more -- and as a result has long been targeted by Home Depot. Lowe’s previous advertising attracted aspiring do-it-yourselfers, but neglected those who take on the biggest home-improvement projects, Lowe’s Chief Marketing Officer Jocelyn Wong said.

The new marketing campaign will be less whimsical, Wong said. A commercial slated for spring, and shown during the presentation, had a male narrator, a rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack and showed plenty of work being done. It’s a clear change from one recent Lowe’s commercial, showing a mom painting a wall dirtied by her dog.

“We need to expand beyond light DIY-ers,” Wong said.

The format has worked well at Home Depot, which has outpaced Lowe’s in sales growth in recent years.

Ellison, who joined Lowe’s in July and worked for Home Depot for about 10 years until 2014, has shuttered weak locations, revamped top management and canceled projects to focus the company on the core mission of improving stores. As an example, the company said a million labor hours a year are spent on writing out work schedules, instead of using computer software.

The company “lost its way,” Ellison said during the presentation. “We are running Lowe’s differently and sharpening our focus on retail fundamentals.”

Lowe’s forecast same-store sales will rise about 3 percent next year. That will boost earnings per share to a range of $6 to $6.10, topping analysts’ average estimate of $5.92.

The announcement boosted shares as much as 4.8 percent to $93.74 on Wednesday -- the most intraday since Aug. 22. The stock has risen about 0.5 percent this year.

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