Change its name.
I know – the company is already remodeling stores and not exactly swimming in cash. Besides, they went with "The Shack" in a 2009 "rebranding" campaign and it didn't seem to turn things around. Plus, CEO Joe Magnacca previously said a name change wasn't necessary.
My sincere recommendations: Don't just vary the name in advertising. Install new store signs. Find the money.
HuffPost Business reported last December that the company's CEO concluded it still has devoted fans — and high brand recognition.
What about all those consumers who never shop there? Well ... RadioShack believes they're not that opposed to the name. According to CEO Magnacca, "People who like us like us a lot. Not many people hate us ... we're just not relevant to them."
So let's break this down, starting with the half-hearted "rebranding" effort five years ago. "The Shack" didn't convey much value to customers beyond telegraphing a connection to RadioShack.
Now we'll address the giant issue: Why "RadioShack" is a fatally flawed name in 2014. Ready? I'm sure a good number of you know the answer.
Who's buying radios these days? I'll go out on a limb and say radio sales are under 10% of RadioShack revenues.
Actually, one could answer with "How many donuts is Dunkin' Donuts selling these days?" Here's what I'd say: To consumers, "radio" is in a different league than "donut." Radios are ancient technology. Guglielmo Marconi sent and received the first radio signal in 1895.
"Radio" says "We're not up-to-date, but visit us if you need stuff like jumper cable or ethernet cord."
A brand name should be a major asset. "RadioShack" carries a built-in objection. It's a drag on revenue.
As for keeping RadioShack devotees, remember, brands have changed their name and continued on successfully. Esso became Exxon. Datsun became Nissan. Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web became Yahoo.
Anyway, RadioShack can always keep "Shack" in its name. Just don't call it "The Shack."
RadioShack executives: Tonight on Facebook I said I was writing this post and asked for ideas. My smart friends came through. Big time. Shoot me an email at robert (at) contenteurs.com and I'll share the fascinating string.
Robert Rosenthal is founder of Contenteurs, a content marketing agency that has developed record-breaking campaigns for dozens of businesses. Clients have included Citigroup, Constant Contact, Eloqua, Fast Company, Fidelity Investments, Forrester, Gartner, Harvard, IBM, Inc. Magazine, Infogroup, Iron Mountain, MIT, Monster, New England Journal of Medicine, Progress, RSA Security, Webby Awards, Ziff-Davis, and countless startups. He'll soon release "Optimarketing: The Marketing Optimization Book."