RadioShack recently introduced a new name, rebranding its stores "The Shack", which now adorns their retail environment and marketing efforts.

The change was prompted by a desire to update the 88-year-old brand as they transition to mobile phone and wireless products without losing brand equity and mind-share, according to RadioShack. As Dan Neil of the Los Angeles Times mused, "For a company that wants to talk up its expertise in mobile phones, no one seems to have noticed that mobile phones are radios!"

To officially roll out the new, shortened, and supposedly hipper moniker, RadioShack staged "The Shack Summer Netogether" in NY and SF August 6 – 8, broadcasting the event live via "massive laptops" located in Times Square and Justin Herman Plaza, respectively. Video was streamed live on their Facebook page and their redesigned web site.

The current trend to truncate brand names is puzzling. Is this an attempt to beguile the text-message obsessed youth market, where everything is "abrv8d"? Or drive up sales through brand-brevity because we lack long attention spans?

I understand distilling a brand to its essence. Coke and FedEx are good examples, but Pizza Hut and Circuit City are not.


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