Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
13 August 2018
The sheer lunacy of the Overstock brand
What’s in a brand name? If you consider the Overstock brand, you see a very confused one resulting in an online retailer getting crushed by Amazon.
If you’ve used Overstock, you know it’s where you buy brand items at a low cost. Because they buy and sell overstocked products. Get it?
But if you’ve seen the Overstock brand advertising of late, you see it running away from that position.
So, the Overstock brand is now just a basic, low-cost online retailer? I mean, if it’s not about selling overstocked items, then what is it? I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a brand so blatantly run away from its name – without changing the name.
It’d be like Burger King saying we don’t sell burgers. (Oh, wait.) If that’s the case, then just change the name.
Basically, where the Overstock brand stands now is meaning absolutely nothing to everybody. In fact, it just told you that. Its name is the only thing with brand meaning. Now, it’s telling customers to disregard the name. (“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”)
“Somehow, the Overstock brand wants it both ways. It wants to keep its name but not the meaning that’s associated with it. Well then, change the name to actually mean something you intend. This lunacy is practically unprecedented.”
The Overstock brand doesn’t take a stand
Overstock’s shares have risen recently due to an investment of $375 million from GSR Capital, a Hong Kong private equity firm. Goodbye, all that cash!
Somehow, the Overstock brand wants it both ways. It wants to keep its name but not the meaning that’s associated with it. Well then, change the name to actually mean something you intend. This lunacy is practically unprecedented.
As part of the Braintrust on RetailWire, I’m asked to comment on the retail news of the day. Over and over, my gripes are over the inanity that certain strategies and tactics will somehow fix retail.
And, of course, they rarely work. But this Overstock brand strategy completely befuddles me. “Ignore our name! I know it’s the only thing with meaning but we’re so much more!”
Overstock’s simply being lazy. Completely rebrand, mean something that identifies who customers are when they use the brand. Rebranding is hard work and takes a full commitment. You know, commitment the Overstock brand doesn’t have right now.
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