Radio Shack used to be the ‘go to place’ for the DIY geeks. And for the past few years, their brand 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 unique selling position (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.

Ohhhh, 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?

Shop Brand Trends, Shop Brand Habits

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.

Re-imagine and Re-invent

So, for brand reinvention strategy, Magnacca is going to run the gamut from changing the company’s colors and updating its logo to re-imagining 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 products 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.

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.


Radio Shack is also going to have to enrich the online experience.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a help line for projects? If dad is having trouble helping junior paint his planets with spray paint, he could jump on the online chat with the Radio Shack geeks. He could learn which paint is the optimal choice (hint: it isn’t spray paint) and run to the store to buy it before it closes.

If you are going to consider including chat for your online shop, take a page from Rio Grande. Those guys at Rio are patient and I would recommend using their chat system whenever possible.

As a 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.

For instance, I will profile my Forever 40 customer (anyone over 40ish like to be called) and then ask them how they like to be contacted -if only to cement my prediction. As a recovering maker, I was very email-centric because I couldn’t afford to answer a call in the middle of staining. Oy! What a mess that would be! I told them that I preferred to email them and send them photos and such. Plus, I can send them an email at 11:30 at night and it won’t disturb them. They were pretty receptive and understanding.

Published Brand 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 How Do I Drop the Dead Weight form below.

Like the hardware stores and soda shops of yesteryear, I love talking to the same shopkeep each day. Life is tough already to navigate the waters of new technology, so 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?

Until next time, keep building!

Cheers, Lisa

How Do I Drop the Dead Weight?

Do you want to...

What types of products do you have?

Do you have a Website?

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Originally published at www.indiecreatives.com on Feb 3, 2014