Your Slogan/Name Is Not A Strategy

August 12, 2009 by

2009_08_12_RadioShack.jpgIt appears Radio Shack is attempting to rebrand itself as “The Shack.” They say it’s what their friends call them. Have you ever met a friend of Radio Shack? I might be alone, but the last thing I would call Radio Shack is a friend. Although they are sometimes reliable like a friend in time of need (for those quick cable/connector runs), I find I walk out of there spending twice as much as I would have elsewhere. Some friend.

The Shack. Really? David Coursey says this is a “silly comb-over” attempt. My friend Brett Hutchinson says that a “nickname is not a brand strategy.”

I couldn’t agree more.

The next time you consider adding or revising your slogan, or even more drastic, changing your name, remember that slogans and names have very little to do with who you are. It’s nice when they reflect who you are, but once you have an identity, names and slogans must reinforce who you already are, not who you aspire to be.

Post By:

Brad Abare

Brad Abare is the founder of the Center for Church Communication. He consults with companies and organizations, helping them figure out why in the world they exist, why anyone should care and what to do about it.
Read more posts by | Want to write for us?

12 Responses to “Your Slogan/Name Is Not A Strategy”

  • Greg Shore
    August 12, 2009

    You are absolutely correct. Slogans reflect who you are. Mission and vision statements, depending on how you look at them, reflect what God is calling you to.
    Radio Shack had a great opportunity to redefine themselves when they signed Lance Armstrong to a sponsorship deal. Too bad that this is the way they’ve gone about it.

     | Permalink
  • Paul Clifford
    August 12, 2009

    Names mean things. “KFC” is the successful rebranding of “Kentucky Fried Chicken”. “The Shack” makes me think of a place without electronics. Maybe “RS Electronics” could be better.
    Churches need to be careful, too. “First Methodist” says something; “True Community” says something else. “The Winnowing Fork” doesn’t say anything (in our culture). Names matter.

     | Permalink
  • Klreed189
    August 12, 2009

    I saw that commercial last night and was completely confused. For a second there I thought it was an advertisement for a movie about the book “the shack”
    I think they are trying to be hip and cool and lets face it radio shack or as their friends call them “the shack” is not a cool place. Their major market is for nerds and tech people. Not young college guys or the average joe.
    I think they missed this one.

     | Permalink
  • Fr. Chris Decker
    August 12, 2009

    I always just call ’em “The Prong Depot.”

     | Permalink
  • Dan Smith
    August 13, 2009

    This is a good example of what a lot of churches do. “The River” Really? Is there a river there? “Flood” When has a flood ever been good? And what does that mean for the body of Christ anyway? If I go there, will I automatically receive a “flood” of God’s grace?
    Please don’t be cool. Church isn’t cool. It’s where people are preaching Christ…or should be. And that, according to the scripture, is a stumbling block, not “cool”.
    Drives me insane. I’m sad for “The Shack.” They were awesome before this. Now I’m not sure.

     | Permalink
  • Adam Rushlow
    August 14, 2009

    Good call. I saw the commercials last night…silliness. It just doesn’t work.
    A company has to know and understand their customer-base and communicate to that base well and in a way they will respond to.
    There is of course plenty of room to try and attract a new customer, but it’s the product and total customer experience that are going to keep that new customer. At “The Shack” I haven’t noticed any image shift or difference in product line/customer experience that is likely to keep a new, younger, trendy customer who’s into the social network scene.

     | Permalink
  • Jim
    August 16, 2009


     | Permalink
  • Jeremy Scheller
    August 16, 2009

    A suggestion, If you’re going to say that you’re friends call you the Shack, they should really call you that. I have never in my life heard somebody call you the Shack.
    I’ve always heard people say KFC for Kentucky Fried Chicken; use it.
    I’ve always heard people say Mickey D’s for McDonald’s; use it.
    I’ve always heard people say DQ for Dairy Queen; use it.
    Nobody has ever said The Shack for Radio Shack. Ever.
    That’s why it’s pithy BS.

     | Permalink
  • anon
    August 18, 2009

    “Their major market is for nerds and tech people.”
    No, they lost the hams and nerds and techies years ago. It used to be possible to build major electronics projects — shortwave transmitters, receivers, audio, computer circuits — from scratch, using parts from Radio Shack; and it used to be possible to ask the clerks technical questions.
    Now it’s all cellphones, and radio-controlled toys, and “You’ve got questions, we’ve got blank stares.” Dropping “Radio” is just a final acknowledgement of the last thirty years’ long slow decay.
    Comparisons to the United Methodist Church are left as an exercise for the reader.

     | Permalink
  • Sean P
    August 21, 2009

    When does this website start spending as much time teaching as it does talking sh*t on other people? I think the only person that actually tries to teach is Michael Buckingham, the rest of you just dog on everyone around you trying to make yourselves look like you matter, but outside of Michael the only this collective group has accomplished is throwing the word F*CK up on a screen in a church. A bunch of can’t do’s acting like they can do.

     | Permalink
  • Church Marketing
    December 9, 2009

    People place way too much importance on a name. I remember going to a church that talked about how great their name was and what it meant. The problem was no one knew them for the name… they were known for the opposite of their name in fact.

     | Permalink
  • Gil
    April 9, 2010

    When I saw this, I immediately thought of the book, The Shack.
    The funny thing is, a good friend of mine, calls it Radio Crap.

     | Permalink

Brand & Identity