Can a Crisis Undo Rebranding Efforts by Radio Shack?

RadioShack to close about 500 stores: WSJ. Image courtesy of MSN. Above Promotions Company, Tampa, FL. 2014
RadioShack to close about 500 stores: WSJ. Image courtesy of MSN. Above Promotions Company, Tampa, FL. 2014

In the electronics business, you are only as good as the newest product you are selling. A company with close to 100 years in the business is bound to fall behind at some point in time. For them the past few years have been an attempt to just catch up in order to compete with Amazon, Best Buy and eBay. Over time consumers felt their inventory was limited, they would just buy new to replace broken items and what was contained in the stores lacked a sense of cutting edge, something many look to for making large or significant electronic purchases.

Making a decision to launch their latest campaign during one of television’s most widely viewed events, the NFL Super Bowl, was genius. Radio Shack may have gained their largest momentum yet, but the news of layoffs and closing 500 locations may just overshadow their efforts.

Initially we were excited to discuss the 4 lessons on rebranding Radio Shack demonstrated through the Super Bowl commercial:

1. Relate to your previous and current customers.

2. Tie in those who never knew you.

3. Recognize you understand today’s consumer.

4. Show you know your past mistakes and have learned.

While these 4 lessons are important to analyze further in regards to the topic of rebranding and increasing positive public sentiment, Radio Shack is dealing with feedback from old customers and others on social media regarding poor service and the announcement of layoffs. And although most people in business know it takes money to make money, there are many others who are not warming up to the concept of spending millions on an advertisement while people will soon be unemployed. The state of the economy for many appears bleak and no amount of nostalgia presented in the recent commercial can change it.

So what can Radio Shack do?

Their communications department must work swiftly with the social media team to combat the negative sentiment with positive messaging using lesson number 4 above. They must show they have learned from their past mistakes and are working to improve so they can appease their customers and grow their business. This often includes sharing a portion of their plan to do so.

For example, if they are closing the stores with plans in the future to open up various distribution centers to provide better service at great prices, this is something Radio Shack would benefit from sharing with the public now to avoid the negative press disrupting their marketing campaign.

Certainly by far the failing company outpaced others in their Super Bowl ad, but will it all be undone over the next few weeks?

What are your thoughts? Do you think the public’s negative comments about the layoffs and poor service will out weigh their rebranding efforts?

Leave your comment below. You may be featured in a future post.


Above Promotions is a full service publicity, digital marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit today.


Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation” which is sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other stores and a contributor to various media outlets.


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