The CEO of Best Buy, Brian Dunn, recently resigned, and many financial analysts are saying that this is the beginning of the end for the electronic giant. Whether or not that’s true, there’s no doubt that the Best Buy brand needs a major facelift if they want to remain a major player in the game.
Brand irrelevancy is one thing both small and large companies fear. I recently came across this useful blog post outlining the “10 Signs That Your Branding Needs A Facelift.” While some of these signs don’t apply to every business, asking yourself these questions while reviewing your brand development strategy can save you from ending up in an uncomfortable situation like Best Buy.
Am I Attracting the Wrong Customers?
If you find that the majority of your customers are asking for discounts, buying only a small portion of your products or making one purchase never to return again, you might be attracting the wrong customers. At this point you have two choices: Either refocus your marketing efforts to attract your ideal customer or restructure your business to cater to your current customers.
Best Buy was attracting the wrong customers because nobody was buying from them. Consumers go into Best Buy to test-drive a product, and then purchase it online. This led financial analysts to dub them as “Amazon’s showroom.” Best Buy positioned themselves as an authority on all things electronic, hoping consumers would be willing to pay a higher price for their knowledge. While they succeeded in earning the authoritative reputation, they misjudged who their current customers were: tech-savvy Internet shoppers.
Do My Customers Understand My Brand?
This question goes hand in hand with the previous one, and could be the reason you’re attracting the wrong customers. Your branding should tell your customers who you are, what you do, and why you are better than your competitors.
One Best Buy brand that is misunderstood is Napster. Napster started out as a peer-to-peer music sharing service, and was ultimately shut down due to copyright infringement. As you can imagine, there was a lot of negative publicity around the Napster name. Best Buy purchased the Napster brand and logo in 2008 and turned it into a legal online music store. However, because of the negative publicity and Best Buy’s lack of effort to rebrand the name, many people still believe the music service is illegal.
Am I Keeping Up With My Customers?
Technology changes and you have to keep up with it in order to keep up with your customers. If the only way for your customers to find you is in the phone book, then that’s a problem. You constantly need to be conducting research, or at the very least reading it, to keep up with what your customers want. Don’t be afraid to experiment free marketing tools either. There is very little risk to adding Pinterest or Google+ to your social media marketing strategy.
Best Buy has struggled to keep up with constant changing of technology. Ever since iTunes and Netflix came out, CDs and DVDs have slowly been dying out, and yet they take up 50 percent of Best Buy’s store layout. Best Buy attempted to get into the digital game by purchasing Napster and CinemaNow, a movie streaming service, but they were too late.
Are My Employees and I Proud of The Brand?
You should always take pride in your work, and your employees should be proud to say where they work because it’s a reflection of your brand’s culture. If you aren’t proud of your brand, figure out why. Are you not exhibiting your best work? Do you come off as cliché or corny? Are your key employees leaving? Once you figure out what’s holding you back from being proud of your brand, fix it.
Just over a month ago, Geek Squad founder and Best Buy’s Chief Technology Officer Robert Stephens resigned. In Stephen’s personal blog, he cited his decision to leave was to “pursue new opportunities.” However, according to Flora Delaney, retail consultant and former Best Buy executive, Stephens decision to leave was because he “grew disillusioned” with the company brand and culture.
Am I Unique?
One sign that you may need to re-invent your brand is if your logo appears to be outdated or starts to look similar to other companies. Companies like Google, Apple, Wal-Mart and Pepsi have revamped their logo roughly every 10 to 20 years. Times change and so do design preferences. It can’t hurt to explore a new logo, and it could just be the breath of fresh air your brand needs.
Best Buy is currently in the process of updating their logo, and it’s about time. The iconic yellow tag has been the logo for 23 years now, and seems a little outdated (in my opinion) compared to other brands. I’ve also noticed that Best Buy’s signature typeface and colors are eerily similar to Ikea’s.
I don’t know whether Best Buy will be around five years from now, but the company is definitely in a delicate situation. I suspect that if they are still around, the company will look very different than it does today, as it should. They have some major re-branding to do, and bringing in a new CEO is the perfect opportunity to do it. I’m looking forward to see what the new leader does with the brand.
Do you use Best Buy as an “Amazon’s showroom?” If so, what changes would Best Buy have to make to get you to make a purchase?