An early icon of technological retailing is changing its name.
Radio Shack will become known now as “The Shack”.
The old name was just too restrictive. True be told, it was always too restrictive, even when they were mostly selling do-it-yourself electronic kits.
I don’t know what transpired to make Radio Shack management decide it was time to change after all these years. They were certainly tenacious for decades.
So here’s the tip: look at name candidates with at least one eye on the brand’s future. Can you imagine a scenario when the candidate you’re considering just might not be appropriate and more?
Now “The Shack” eliminates the restriction. But if I were The Shack, I’d have considered going all the way. Why hang on to part of an inappropriate name? Do I, in the 21st Century, want my company associated with a shack?
They had an opportunity to break away from the “rinky-dink” and forge a new, modern image.
But I can see their reluctance as well. They felt they had equity in Radio Shack, and that some of that good-will and personality could be saved with a transitive name instead of a clean break. But how long will management – and the public – want to be associated with a shack?
I’ll bet they’ll want to make another change within five years.
A little fortitude builds better brands than hedging can.