The strength of brand is always touted as the key to success, and it’s quite often right. Where it gets interesting is when a brand gets so huge and saturates the market so much that the corporate strategy turns towards the brand.
In an interesting twist, Radio Shack has been playing with a new concept store called PointMobl in a few US markets that appears to look like a smaller organization (down to the spelling errors on the web page – they may be good listenters, but not good spellers). Starbucks got into the game as well recently, opening 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea, a store that looks more like a neighbourhood coffee house. What a great plan to steal away business from other coffee houses that cater to the anti-Starbucks crowd! It is reminiscent of the the grocery business with infinite banners across the street from each other unbeknownst to the bulk of consumers.
It would be interesting to see one of these small banner startups try some new technology strategies to allow these stores with a neighbourhood feel to behave like neighbourhood stores from years past – establishing a one to one relationship with a local business that isn’t.