Comedy Central's The Daily Show recently ran a satirical "expose" about how the ailing economy means some unfortunate folks in Beverly Hills can't afford their cosmetic surgery or Botox injections. Given such a backdrop, maybe it's a good time to be Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT). The Bentonville behemoth reportedly plans to give its logo a facelift.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the new logo will include "white letters on a burnt-orange background followed by a white starburst," and Wal-Mart will lose that pesky hyphen (for a decade, the hyphen was depicted as a star shape on the old-school logo). Wal-Mart hasn't officially announced the new design, and didn't return the Journal's phone calls seeking comment.

Wal-Mart has been on a much-needed rejuvenation kick for some time now. Last September, it changed its motto from "Always low prices" to "Save money. Live better." It's shown an ability to think outside the box, and illustrated that it can be a powerful force in environmental initiatives, such as its push for compact fluorescent light bulbs. (However, Home Depot (NYSE:HD) beat it to the punch on one level: It came to light last week that the hardware retailer will offer nationwide recycling for the bulbs.)

Of course, Wal-Mart has had many critics; I've been one of them at times. Many of its practices over the years have angered communities and consumers alike. The fact that Wal-Mart needed to improve its public image became quite clear in recent years. And although the current economic turmoil makes it easier for Wal-Mart to claim it's a "good guy," if I were a Wal-Mart investor, I'd be glad to see it continue to try to work on its image. Public goodwill is important.

Honestly, I've always preferred discounters Target (NYSE:TGT) and Costco (NASDAQ:COST) as potential investments to Wal-Mart. That public image issue made me cool on the retailer. On the other hand, early this year I had to admit that with the U.S. consumer feeling strapped, Wal-Mart was beginning to look better as a growth investment, as were other discounters. Wal-Mart was, after all, back in its element. And indeed, over the last six months, Wal-Mart shares are up 18%.

Whether a burnt-orange logo with a sunburst is a red-hot idea, it's good to know Wal-Mart's still got an eye on polishing up its image. It's no time to rest on any laurels, and I think Wal-Mart shareholders want the peace of mind of knowing that it's going to appeal to a wide range of consumers in good times and bad.