In what seems like ill-timed announcements and (superbowl ad) expenditures Radio Shack apparently will be closing 500 stores in the near future (Radio Shack Closing Stores). The electronics retailer has been struggling for years to figure out where it stands in the marketplace and in the opinion of this branding guy has been clueless. The new "brand" campaign launched on the superbowl shows 80s icons throwing out the old Radio Shack to make way for a new version, 3.0. (Yes, been there done that already folks a few times). Cute ad fun to watch but means nothing really.
Radio Shack reminds me of JC Penney and Linen and Things (now defunct)...retail brands that don't have any reason d'etre or purpose. No clear positioning but just seem to hang on and exist until they die.
Sure the stock surged a bit based on viewing of the new TV ad giving the impression the brand was finally throwing out dead wood to make room for the "future". But it remains to be seen what that future brand will really look like. Re-inventing a brand is FAR MORE than just one cute ad. What was missing is what is the positioning for the future. I know it was well received by viewers...sure, it was entertaining but as anyone in the ad business knows, entertaining ads many times do NOT drive business.
Years ago Radio Shack was the place to go for electronic hobbyists but as the world changed and the internet became our link to find stuff you needed--especially more up to date and relevant stuff you needed, the retailer readily became obsolete, just its management wasn't ready to give in. Numerous re-branding efforts have failed. (Most recently "The Shack"...huh? meaningless). It tried to become a mobile-phone centric retailer but failed because of too much competition in that field. Additionally, in my personal experience the retailer's staff are some of the most unfriendly people in electronics or any business for that matter....to the point of arrogance or maybe its disinterest. That certainly didn't help.
It is time for the brand to close shop OR find some very meaningful way to connect with consumers...which I do not think is in the cards despite Hulk Hogan and the other 80s icons who caused us to smile.
Watching out for you everyday.