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Don’t Let Your Brand Become Radio Shack

IC-600-brandstrategyRadio Shack used to be the ‘go to place’ for the DIY geeks. And for the past few years, they became irrelevant. Hell, you couldn’t find a Cat 5 cable to save your life, but Walmart had them.

Who wants to go to Walmart? Not this chick.

Today may show a different story.


Reading an article from CNBC, BB&T Capital Markets analyst Anthony Chukumba said

“RadioShack, it’s right around your corner, it’s kind of your neighborhood consumer electronics store.”

And with the re-establishment of American made products and service being toted today, that’s the USP they can drive home with their message.

Further in the article, the author Courtney Reagan states,

RadioShack’s stock is a shell of what it once was. The shares hit a peak in 1999, with a record close of $78.50. Today the stock’s trading at about $3.19 per share.

That’s harsh.

When CEO Joe Magnacca talks about reinvention, he’s talking about bringing back relevance they started 93 years ago. So he is staging an intervention—leading a transformation of the consumer electronics retailer.

“We’re in a great space relative to technology. It’s a brand that really in the past has kind of lost its way.”

Kind of? What were these guys doing for the past 20 years?

Trends and shopping all become cyclical. So do buying habits. So it’s in your company’s best interest to subscribe to industry publications, walk tradeshows, and shop in nearby towns who offer similar products. This will help you stay apprised of the good and plenty habits of your customers.

Brand Reinvention
So, for brand reinvention strategy, Magnacca is going to run the gamut from changing the company’s colors and updating its logo to reimagining its stores and changing its product branding and assortment.

This is key: changing up product assortment, among other things.

Your shop cannot continue to sell product your customers don’t want to buy. You have to stay relevant if you want to stay in business. So talk to your customers about what they’re looking for. Chances are, many other customers are looking for the same thing.

Watching last night’s Super bowl commercial line up, I got jazzed about Radio Shack’s commercial. Best commercial for outstanding brand reinvention FTW!

Tacking my Strategy
I believe if they really want to make a run against Best Buy and Amazon, they’re going to have to drive online sales. From what my tiny brick and mortar experienced last holiday season, I lost sales to Amazon because my customers were beleaguered by nasty weather. I know because I asked.

You can bet I’m tacking my strategy.

Scripting Tip
If you’re doing everything you’re supposed to be doing to promote sales during the holiday season and you still can’t get off the ground, ask your customer if she’s done buying for the season and where she shopped.

Then ask why. Why is crucial to understanding what motivated your customer to shop where/when she shopped.

Online Experience
Radio Shack is also going to have to enrich the online experience. I suggest online chat with geeks who know what the hell they’re talking about and who aren’t condescending. They could learn a thing or two from Rio Grande. Those guys at Rio are patient and I would recommend using their chat system whenever possible.

Them vs Us
As small business, we don’t have the funding or infrastructure to handle the kind of customer service that Rio Grand provides, but we can tell our customers how to reach us.

In many cases I will profile (anyone over 40ish like to be called) and then ask them (to cement my prediction). Because I’m email centric, I will tell them that I prefer to email them to send them photos and such. Plus, I can send them an email at 11:30 at night and it won’t disturb them. Chances are, they’re responsive to that consideration.

Published Analysis and Strategy
Additionally, Radio Shack shared their Analysis and Strategy for the new millennium. For their sake, I hope it’s not too late.

Drop the Deadweight
In Slide 20 of the SlideShare Analysis above, there is one bullet point that jumped out:

  • Close Under Performing Doors

Don’t be afraid to drop the dead weight in your product or service lineup. If you’re not sure when you’re supposed to do that, please contact me for help or complete the form below.

Like the hardware stores and soda shops of yesteryear, I rather enjoy talking to the same shop keep day in and day out. Life is tough already to navigate the waters of new technology, I’d like to talk about it with someone who is in business to take care of me.

So, who are you taking care of?

Here’s to Cultivating Your Creative Independence

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Lisa, CREATIVEGoddess
Lisa Stewart is the founder of IndieCreatives™, Coaching and Strategy for Creative Entrepreneurs. Lisa is dedicated to helping galleries & artists expand their knowledge in creative branding.

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