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It’s ‘Rat Shack,’ Thank You Very Much

Don’t mess with Radio Shack brand

Taking the “Radio” out of “Radio Shack” is a mistake.

Last week, we reported that the venerable Radio Shack is changing its branding image and removing the name “Radio” from store signage and packaging. The idea is to update the image, so the store becomes known for mobility and wireless products.

You can tell they’re hedging their bets, because they’re not changing the official name of the company. If the new imaging is a flop, they’ll just drop it, a la “New Coke.”

My thought is this: People know Radio Shack as a place to get batteries, cables and parts. Changing the name, even if it’s just in advertising and in-store signage, will just confuse people and they’ll go somewhere else.

Why mess with something that works? “Radio” is wireless, too. In fact, NAB has a T-shirt that proclaims: “Radio and television, wireless before wireless was cool.”

And who calls it “The Shack”? Most engineers I know call it “Rat Shack,” which conjures up a whole other branding image.