Brand.com
February 8, 2014 | 802 Views

The Past and Future of The RadioShack Brand

RadioShack is a brand name that we are all familiar with, but how many of us have actually walked into one of their retail locations in the last few years, let alone even buy anything?

I’m guessing this question didn’t apply much to anyone’s personal buying and spending habits, since everything RadioShack sells in their stores can be purchased easily at many of the other big retailers such as BestBuy, Walmart and Target.

When I personally think of RadioShack, I think about the 80s… times were much simpler then. There was no internet and I would visit the store with my dad. We would check out the cool electronics they had and maybe even pick up a long extension cord for the phone on the wall or some batteries.

This is probably what most people think of when they hear “RadioShack.”

Apparently we aren’t the only ones who felt this way. RadioShack themselves even used some good money during the SuperBowl to air a commercial expressing the dire need for them to re-brand themselves and its stores.

The question now for RadioShack is… is it too late?

RadioShack to Close Over 500 Retail Locations

Not only will RadioShack be spending a lot of time and money on re-branding itself and its stores but are also closing a bunch of existing locations. This only makes sense for an organization that is already having a tough time dealing with the 4,300 stores they already have in operation.

According to people familiar with the matter, RadioShack is planning to close around 500 locations in the coming months. It isn’t clear which of RadioShack’s roughly 4,300 stores will be closed and when exactly the closings will begin. The people familiar with the matter noted that it isn’t unusual for companies to close stores when going through a restructuring. (source: WSJ)

The commercial from RadioShack was awesome and it related with everyone who was a child, teen or young adult in the 80s. The RadioShack of today doesn’t portray the same brand and necessity that it used to be, however.

How many times have you seen a RadioShack in a mall and seen it packed with customers? Yet, stores like Apple are always packed!

It will be interesting to see how the RadioShack re-brands itself and if they can bring back the attraction and necessity they once had. The key focus here should be on adapting their business to the internet and relying less on retail locations (which it looks like they are starting to do).

However, as stated in the WSJ article, the company would still like to have 4,000 plus stores in their network.

The Importance of Keeping Your Brand Alive

RadioShack has an interesting and complex situation in front of them. Not only is its brand name well recognized but they have thousands of retail locations that they need to get people into (also to experience after the re-brand).

Super Bowl commercials are a great way to spread awareness, but they are also expensive. RadioShack now needs to make sure they have a “cool” brand like Apple that people not only relate with but also want to pay a premium price for.

Apple stores are just cool to be in. It would be great to see RadioShack find a lot of success with its new stores and re-branding, but it will be an uphill challenge.

In addition to everything else RadioShack has going on, they will need to continue to focus their efforts on social media, building out their Facebook and Twitter accounts with great content and funneling users back to their online store. Should the retail business end up not working out for the company, they can always cut their losses and fall back on their Web site and brand name that is still known throughout the world.

In the end, it all comes back to the power of the brand that they have spent so many years to build up and what message they end up using to keep it alive and well.

To learn more about how to keep your organization and brand ahead of the competition at all times and always getting your message in front of the right people, call Brand.com for a free consultation today.

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48 comments
genevievemoser
genevievemoser

This was a great commercial. I hope they have other strategies in place to bring back the company!

N Mellor
N Mellor

RadioShack is trying hard and they admit they need to keep their brand alive... Good stuff.

jeffadams870
jeffadams870

I can see Radio Shack building a name for itself in the DIY tech market, specifically with microcomputers like Raspberry Pi.

albrechtac
albrechtac

LOVED the RadioShack Super Bowl commercial! Although it did make me have "Everybody's Working for the Weekend" stuck in my head for about a week.

DanPalmieri
DanPalmieri

Radio Shack needs all guns a blazin'...social media, pod casts specials, sponsorships, increased internet sales...and for the love of pete, come up with a few products that give them some differentiation in the marketplace. 

DJPC52988
DJPC52988

I'll be curious to see if the "coolness" RadioShack is presenting can revitalize its brand. 

alxlynn90
alxlynn90

This commercial was a great idea. Keeping people interested will help you from "falling off the map".

Dillon Young
Dillon Young

I can't say I think this is the best move for Radio Shack.  In recent years, I heard RS referred to as a "hobby shop" for people who like to tinker with and build electronics more so than an electronics retailer.  This made sense, since the stores were often small and packed with obscure electronic components.  But now, moving to position itself as a competitor with the likes of Apple and Best Buy seems ill advised, in my opinion.

rdavis10483
rdavis10483

When this commercial, I didn't really like Radio Shack's chances. I agree with other commenters who think the company waited too long. They are going to need some rebranding magic to make it work.

sfcooper25
sfcooper25

Did radio shack wait to long to re-brand themselves? This is unknown right now, but they did an excellent job with the commercial to at least get themselves back on the map. 

Mike Griff
Mike Griff

The commercial was awesome but it might be too late for Radio Shack.

samantha215
samantha215

It was such a fun commercial and got everyone buzzing about them!

a.jones
a.jones

That commercial rules.  Obviously, a rebranding is totally necessary in Radio Shack's case, but I hope they don't stop carrying obscure tech components as a result of their transition.  

RonGamble
RonGamble

I just loved that commercial. Pure genius.  It's about time Radioshack too some initiative on their brand.

JRHalloran
JRHalloran moderator

RadioShack is a very good example of a faltering brand. You may know their name, but everyone knows you can get the same products they sell in other big retail stores or online. It's good to see that RadioShack realizes they have a brand issue and are taking the steps to update their brand image, even in the self-deprecating way they did with their Super Bowl commercial. 

Now, they have to work on backing up their re-branding efforts by delivering the "cool" experience Apple does in its stores. Otherwise, their business will continue to give way to other retailers like it did for the past 30 years.

Harrison Pew
Harrison Pew

I couldn't even tell you the last time I stepped into a RadioShack, but that commercial revealed to me that they are attempting to re-brand themselves and gave me a much more positive outlook towards them.  Good work by RadioShack.

VeazeyJ
VeazeyJ

I remember seeing this commercial during the superbowl and thinking "oh yeah radio shack is a thing." I think they need ot do some serious re-branding and are on the right track. 

Sophie Tran
Sophie Tran

Perfect example of why it is so extremely important to grow your business alongside with the customers, changing market, trends, etc. Otherwise, you'll have a hard time playing "catch up."  

jasonraser5
jasonraser5

Many companies that outlast their competition have once or twice needed to take a step back and revive their brand and perception of the company.  Not a bad idea for RadioShack.

kayceeflore
kayceeflore

I really hope radio shack pulls through it was always the place to buy batteries and walkie talkies...Keep it alive! Plus I feel like it's cheaper than Best Buy. 

ishark33
ishark33

Radioshack is the worst. I remember why I stopped going there. This commercial is funny though. Let's see if it helps...

monicajohnson74
monicajohnson74

Love the new radio shack commercial.  They said what everyone was thinking!

MikeZammuto
MikeZammuto

I thought their 80s ad was one of the best I have seen in a while. It touched people nostalgically and addressed their key weakness. Let's see if they can parlay that into success getting people to rethink their brand 

JordanRScott44
JordanRScott44

I like how they are re-evaluating what's going on and decided to adapt to what is and isn't working for them. Hopefully this works out well.

TarekOsman
TarekOsman

Let's see how RadioShack can provide value to their in-store customers.  Apple stores are packed because they are supporting their industry leading products, something RadioShack lacks.  RadioShack lags behind the Best Buy's of the world because they don't have the mass selection of products.  It will be interesting to see what void RadioShack attempts to fill.

JeffGlauser
JeffGlauser

Great commercial - and one that I'd want to see multiple times just so I can point out all the 80s icons! I too agree that honesty is the best policy and a little self deprecation never hurts!

Jack Serpa
Jack Serpa

I'm rooting for Radio Shack.  Retail chains often resize their network of storefronts in response to the economy and sales-per-location.  Bravo to their brand for the honest portrayal of their challenge ahead in the SuperBowl spot.  I agree with you, Zak.  It's a big challenge 

Jules Pileggi
Jules Pileggi

I liked that the RadioShack commercial was honest and self-aware. But honestly I can't even remember the last thing I bought from RadioShack and I think I buy most of my electronics at Target or Amazon at this point and I doubt that will change regardless of what kind of store layout they roll out. 

Cliff S
Cliff S

The good news for Radio Shack is that they already have a brand name that people know, so some creative and effective marketing and re-branding efforts could certainly work for them.

briiiiittyyy
briiiiittyyy

I actually spent money at a Radioshack recently - only because I desperately needed a new phone charger, and it was literally my only option. They really need to re-brand themselves fast or they're doomed. 

stonerkt
stonerkt

I love this commercial. They poked fun at themselves while promoting their re-branding. I agree that a name change is necessary in their re-branding as well.

omar mims011
omar mims011

Radio Shack?!  Everytime I pass one in a mall, I see an employee tightening up the remote control dune buggy's... 

annmjohnson
annmjohnson

That commercial was fantastic!  I'm sure it got people thinking about all the times they used to go into RadioShack, and that they hadn't been there in a long time.  Great job!

tjcreedon
tjcreedon

radio shack is definitely not the first choice for people wanting electronics. everything is so cheap on amazon!

BrecksBrooker
BrecksBrooker

everyone is copying off of the apple store design.

JustinDeLisi
JustinDeLisi

Radio Shack is just a stale brand.  They need to make lots of changes to attract younger customers

AdamFelch
AdamFelch

Well I think I will swing by a Radio Shack this week to see if there have been any changes. Awesome commercial though.

PJSweens1
PJSweens1

I was shocked by the RS commercial, it was bold to admit the weakness of thier brand

zscoby43
zscoby43

I think the new brand positioning they introduced in their SB commercial is a real start at legitimately competing with Best Buy.

Rdrewnow
Rdrewnow

They need a new company name, you know, since traditional radios aren't really a thing anymore.

Pete Campbell
Pete Campbell

The key is admitting that they needed a change to potential customers. It was a very intelligent move on their part. It is one thing to change all the stores and then have customers slowly notice the change, but instead they used the commercial to poke fun at themselves and that reminds old customers that they should come back and check out the newly upgrade store.

moneyreign
moneyreign moderator

@sfcooper25  I also agree that this tactic should have been done a while ago.

moneyreign
moneyreign moderator

@RonGamble  Great commercial for relating to their customers from previous decades.

moneyreign
moneyreign moderator

@Harrison Pew  From the looks of the commercial their stores will look pretty nice, but will that be enough?

moneyreign
moneyreign moderator

@tjcreedon  i don't know how retail locations will ever be able to beat online prices.

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