Circuit City announced that it would be returning in February, as an online store (it’s April, site is still down), for now. Met with failure before, the company hopes to thrive in an e-commerce market this time around. When experts were asked about the company’s comeback, there were mixed reviews. Some industry experts questioned the return and the success of the business in today’s market, while others saw an opportunity if the idea was different and some re-branding.
Before calling it quits and dropping (they really had no choice) out of the race, Circuit City already took a back-seat to its biggest competitor, Best Buy. With its return, Circuit City not only has to compete with Best Buy, but now must tackle stronger forces head on. Amazon is currently leading in e-commerce with no plans of slowing down, and other brands following close behind. Circuit City may be trying to jump on this digital trend, which may have led to their decision to start as an online store first; however, they’ve been gone for a long time (in retail world) to possibly know how to survive. Being out of the game has turned this veteran brand into a rookie, and it is very important for them to come with a new strategy. The market has done a complete shift due to disruption, social media advertising, millennial power, the rise of generation Z, etc. Hopefully they have been doing their homework and taking notes while on their extended vacation.
A new Value Proposition and building a business for today and not yesteryear, were some of the comments that industry experts made regarding Circuit City’s return. To re-brand itself, Circuit City should start with “why” they exist and their driving purpose. They should then ask themselves “how” they will fulfill this purpose and belief, and “what” exactly they should do to fulfill this belief. Starting with these three questions will help the company to formulate a value proposition and differentiate their process (and product) from the competition.
To build a business for today, especially an online business, and not yesteryear, Circuit City needs to develop a digital brand strategy. Adopting the five core digital brand strategies of accessibility, engagement, customization, connection and collaboration will help the brand to learn and understand who their customers are, what they want/need, how they are behaving on digital platforms, etc. In a nutshell, it gives the brand a chance to LISTEN!