Of the three strategic alternatives our recommendation or a plan of action would be for Circuit City to choose the re-branding to be the best option at this time. Circuit City is moving in a forward motion in terms of changing the image of the stores, and cutting costs. Circuit City must begin improving their sales and brand image in order to keep their rank as second best to Best Buy in the home electronics retailer industry. Circuit City is in need of a face lift beginning with the corporate structure of the Circuit City “brand”. Every store needs to be updated so as though to have a new stylish look. Circuit City must give consumers a reason to talk about the store and brand. Finally there must be a difference from Best Buy and give customers a reason to choose Circuit City over other competitors.
Circuit City’s action plan should begin with a corporate remodel from the inside out. Circuit City needs to revamp the entire look of their organization, from the store fronts to the advertisements to the market segment. It is necessary for the entire organization to update its image. Circuit City must focus on bringing back old customers as well as searching out new customers. A market must be identified and that market must be addressed with multiple marketing tactics.
The younger generations are eager to test out the latest and greatest new electronic gadget as are older generations, especially the Baby Boomers. Circuit City must find a way to differentiate itself from their competitors, so a though to not to appear as though they are simply a ‘copy cat’ retailer falling behind their biggest competitor. It must also be important for Circuit City to create brand loyalty to the store, so as to create a customer base that continues to shop there time and time again.
Circuit City has a reputation of unattractive and dim lit stores at many of their locations. Circuit city is presently trying to change that look, by updating the look of their stores, with better lighting, new store front design and new equipment. All store locations need to have this new updated feel. The remodel is expensive, but believed to be well worth it, consumers today expect to see a stylish store with space to move around in a friendly atmosphere.
In the electronics industry, where the newest gadget is here and forgotten in short amounts of time, there seems to be a need for a ‘hands on’ experience. Circuit City may do well, by adding display rooms. A display room for speakers, televisions, game consoles and other such gadgets, so customers can ‘try out’ the product in the store. Circuit City needs to focus on creating an experience not a shopping trip for their customers.
In order for Circuit City to change their appearance and re-brand itself they must engage itself in many marketing campaigns that span the scope of conventional ads and circulars in Sunday papers to more modern guerrilla marketing tactics. Word of mouth marketing is so powerful; Circuit City needs to tap into that by creating some sort of ‘buzz’ about the company and their service and product line.
There needs to be a movement towards making Circuit City ‘the place to go’ for all electronic needs. Positive reinforcement of the company will help ensure more brand recognition, which may lead to more foot traffic in both the stores and online. The more the market is saturated with positive messages the more the general public will have a reason to discuss Circuit City in everyday conversations. Aside from creating ‘buzz’ about Circuit City through word of mouth, a more conventional method of advertising is also needed. Efficient advertisements are needed in multiple media forms, such as newspaper, magazines, trade journals, television, radio and online.
An innovative way to attract new customers would be through the use of guerrilla marketing tactics. In such cases Circuit City could sponsor events on campuses, at out door concerts, and at boat, car, and RV shows. At these events Circuit City could have product booths were consumers could come and see some of their product line, have give-a-ways for gift cards and/or merchandise. This would give Circuit City a ‘hands on’ approach to reaching new customers.
Another aspect of the muti- approach marketing campaign would be for Circuit City to form some sort of alliance with another company in a new creative way of showing off their products. Circuit City has done this already with its alliance with Apple Computers and selling those in their stores exclusively. There may be a market for them in with Hybrid cars. They could align themselves with a Hybrid car company to ensure all stereo equipment came from Circuit City or that repairs and upgrades would be directed to the stores. Circuit City must find an area of expertise that is different from their competitors and exploit that. Consumers are looking for the latest and greatest products, services and add-on packages in today’s market, therefore Circuit City must find a way to grad a hold of a niche market and market to them.
Although, all marketing efforts require vast amounts of capital to generate the results wanted. We believe that by Circuit City getting their name out into the general public that they will see pleasing sales figures. Circuit City must choose to focus on increasing their profits through marketing campaigns and diversify itself from all other competitors.
If Circuit City follows our recommendations for a re-branding we believe that they will be successful in reclaiming market share in the consumer electronics industry. Because of the recent changes in both employee structure and management structure re-branding will help make employees feel more secure in their futures at Circuit City. Employees will also feel a sense of success if they can be a part of the new brand and can say that they helped to build the brand. Consumers will view Circuit City in a different light and will be excited to visit the newly made over, bright stores and experience the new and improved Circuit City shopping experience.
By following the action plan that we have outlined Circuit City will be able to regain the market and retain a strong hold on the number two spot in the consumer electronics industry. The re-branding will not only help Circuit City’s current situation but will also help secure a solid spot in the future as competitors change and evolve around them. At this point, we do not think that Circuit City should not try to surpass Best Buy, but focus on gaining market share. There would be a possibility that in the distant future, seven to ten years, that Circuit City could surpass Best Buy in the consumer electronics industry, but the current focus should be on improving the image and customer relationships of Circuit City.