Coming soon to a Blockbuster Video near you: Mobile phones. The devices are already available on Blockbuster’s website and rumor has it they will soon be in brick and mortar stores as well.
But Blockbuster should stop selling phones.
Sadly, the switch from movies to cell phones is not surprising. This is one company that has struggled to adapt its brand identity to the changing market. But the brand confusion that will be caused by the addition of mobile phones illustrates an even bigger problem.
Blockbuster’s fall from grace was not due to a lack of mobile phones. It was due to a lack of an identifiable brand and failure to adapt to the new marketplace of streaming video.
Rather than introduce mobile phones without any context, Blockbuster should focus its effort on the company’s brand. Without proper brand context, the question of why it is in the mobile phone business goes unanswered and consumers are left without a reason to choose Blockbuster for their mobile phone needs.
It is almost as if someone at Blockbuster headquarters mused, “We have stores. What can we put in them?” Then someone replied, “Mobile phones are big. Let’s sell those.”
Even if this rollout had been well planned, it would not be successful because the Blockbuster brand does not have the permission of the market to sell cell phones. Blockbuster should pull back and re-examine its brand. A clearly defined brand will dictate Blockbuster’s focus and its future.