“It’s our voice, a new voice, one for the people,” said Abel Czupor, marketing manager. “RadioShack’s audience used to be just an older demographic, but as times have changed and e-commerce has taken over, RadioShack’s old voice is no longer relevant.”
After a decade of decline, RadioShack was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in 2015. In its quest to find a brand identity, the chain filed for bankruptcy twice, going from having approximately 5,200 US stores in 2014 to around 400 then the private equity firm Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV) bought it in 2020.
That year, the vulnerabilities of the retail industry were fully realized during the coronavirus pandemic, as illustrated by rush of bankruptcy notices. That was when Miami-based REV intercepted a number distressed retailers intend to revive them into online-focused stores, including the Pier 1 Imports household store, the Model’s sporting goods chain and the low-cost retailer Stein Mart.
REV was formed by Alex Mehr, co-founder of online dating site Zoosk.com, and Tai Lopez, an online influencer known for coaching about his lavish lifestyle. They launched RadioShack Swap, a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange platform that allows users to exchange coins or tokens, a format that comes with more flexibility and lower transaction fees than trading. The token, called $ RADIO, is worth about a penny.
Crypto-fraud is on the rise, losing more than $ 1 billion last year
On the RadioShack Swap website, the company said that the relaunch was aimed at people who may not normally be seen as crypto investors. “There is a real generation gap between the average crypto user and the average decision maker,” the company said. “This demographic difference creates a significant psychological barrier to cryptoadoption.”
In a May statement, the company reported a trading volume of $ 40 million, with a daily average of $ 500,000 to $ 2 million. “The swap adds two or three new tokens each week, and we continue to see strong interest among gaming token start-ups, in particular. They understand that the RadioShack brand is congruent with their own game,” Mehr said.
Yet with its latest marketing strategy on Twitter, the reactions were mixed. One day, the platform itself accidentally closed our account and locked us out. said Czupor, though some tweets were later recovered.
A few internet figures with a large number of followers posted warnings, calling it is an “advertising campaign to justify public favor for their crypto scheme” and encourages people not to fall for it. Jack Appleby, author of Morning Brews Future Social Social Media Newsletter, so that “engagement does not matter if it is not translated into sales,” and points to the value of the symbol in a thread that analyzes the strategy.
“This criticism is completely false,” the company said in an email. “Sales have actually grown since we started increasing our Twitter game in recent weeks.”
Kylie Cammon, founder of marketing consulting firm Flying Hare Social for social media, called RadioShacks tweets an effective way to gain visibility. “Everyone who is interested in crypto is interested in this kind of humor,” she said. “They’ve definitely got what they were looking for there.”
While some of the content may be considered offensive, Cammon said their target audience “does not necessarily care.” It was a chance for RadioShack to go after the eyeballs while risking alienating a larger group, she said.
RadioShack, which refused to identify the “intern” behind the Twitter posts, made clear its commitment to the strategy. In a tweet filled with internet stenography: «Shack intern here. I wanted to take a second to reflect on my post. I expect to say, in my wildest dreams, I never thought the tweet would go viral and apologize. … No, we were not hacked, and no, I was not fired. Fasten up… “
The campaign comes at a bad time for the crypto industry. Bitcoin, the most important cryptocurrency, is trading close to $ 19,000, more than 70 percent below its peak in November. The South Korean crypto project Terra – with both a token and a so-called “algorithmic stablecoin” – saw much of the value wiped out in a few days in May. It triggered losses throughout the market, including to the crypto bank Celsius, which would continue to freeze assets, and the hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, which would fall into liquidation this week.