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The Shack not picking up the slack

August 9, 2009

John Wooden said “Never mistake activity for achievement.”

Radio Shack didn’t get the memo.

The electronics retailer, faced with slumping sales and declining market share, decided that the best way to turn that around was to launch new marketing materials and point-of-sale branding the company with the nickname “The Shack.”

They could’ve saved the money.

For whatever reason, companies seem to be in love with rebranding right now. “Oh, sales are slumping. It must be because our brand isn’t “youthful” enough. We’ve lost our core consumers. Our store name doesn’t seem approachable enough… If we shorten our name, sales will return.”

Or, perhaps, Radio Shack’s business model just cannot compete. A specialty store that “specializes” in every type of electronics cannot play with Best Buy. Hell, a big box store with a less innovative staff and marketing campaigns (see also Circuit City), can’t compete with Best Buy.

People didn’t decide that Radio Shack didn’t seem friendly enough. Consumers decided that it was easier to shop online for electronics if they wanted a deal. And if they were out shopping, it’s more fun to go to a 50,000 square foot electronics store with everything (Best Buy), or to buy electronics at the same store where they buy their furniture and their towels (Target or Wal-Mart).

Instead of shortening the brand name, why not address the key reasons that you are no longer competing? (Hint: It’s not your name.)

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2009 2:06 pm

    Most branding professionals know that an effective identity is not based on just a name – rather it takes a concerted effort to clearly define the value, mission and vision for the brand. What does the Radio Shack brand stand for? I have no idea. It hasn’t been made any clearer by changing their name to the Shack. Creating a new indentity for a brand is more than a name change…it should reflect the vision of the brand and what it hopes to achieve.

  2. August 11, 2009 10:07 am

    Well, one problem is that it would be impossible to change Radio Shack to Best Buy. Their existing stores are way too small.

    Radio Shack used to be a great place to go to if you wanted something simple like a USB cable and didn’t feel like dragging yourself to Best Buy. Unfortunately, the last time that happened to me the only USB cable they had cost $28. (More appropriate price: $6). I needed it super-fast, so I bought it and vowed never to darken the door of a Radio Shack store again.

    D

  3. September 4, 2009 6:55 pm

    Sorry for my bad english. Intresting title. It attracted me to read the complete post. Thanks

  4. September 8, 2009 6:32 am

    Same considerate post but there are some place where I resolve not agree. But comprehensive its very good.

  5. Fred Sniichurwiitz permalink
    November 4, 2009 6:53 pm

    I don’t know where you buy a USB for $6 but they are $20+ even at Barfmart.

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  1. No More Radio for RadioShack « Where Is Bartleby?

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