What Can Be Learned from RadioShack
Let’s look at RadioShack. The company has tried just about everything:
• Kiosks in Target Stores selling cell phones and wireless products.
• Selling cell phones in its stores nationwide.
• Selling wireless products along with wireless plans and mobile phone services in its stores.
• Selling iPhones in its stores despite the low margins Apple imposes.
But what’s wrong with this strategy might be that company’s brand name—RadioShack—and all that it stands for, has not been successful in its own stores so why would it be successful in other retailers’ stores? It’s one thing for Apple or Starbucks to place their brand name product on another retailers’ shelves where the power of their image can make a dent, but it’s quite another for a lagging brand to think a new venue is going to change its image.
All companies face this same challenge. To keep their brands refreshed in substance, not just image, based upon what their customers need and want. The brands that do this regularly can make any transition that is required without disruption to their businesses. But if a company has gotten out of lockstep with its customers, it will inevitably find itself on the outside looking in.
The issue before RadioShack is what should be its next “big idea.” What should it become?
It should be apparent that the Shack-ness of RadioShack is not working in the face of retailers like BestBuy. Circuit City found that out the hard way. It is not easy to compete against a brand that knows its customers well and gives them what they want.
Tom Wants to Hear Your Branding Issues:
If you are a printing company, or product/services company serving the industry, and would like to be considered for a feature in this blog, please contact Tom Marin for an interview.
Tom Marin is the Founder and President of MarketCues, Inc., a national consulting firm. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations and middle-market firms. Tom’s focus is to help CEOs drive their strategy shifts and strategic growth programs. Follow MarketCues on Twitter. Tom also welcomes emails new LinkedIn connections or calls to (919) 908-6145.