Staples & LinkedIn Launch Private Brand Small Business Network

Framingham, Massachusetts based office supply chain Staples has partnered with the professional social networking site LinkedIn to launch, “Succeed: Small Business Network,” which will be a platform for small businesses to network, seek advice and get content. Private Brand and differentiation take many new and unique forms so it is exciting to see Staples reach out to its core customer and create what a focused Private Brand group to meet their needs. It would be interesting to see this partnership come to life in Private Brand products, services and events in Staples stores. They can bring the online social media experience to the real world.

In Succeed, Staples and LinkedIn are creating an online community that enables small businesses to connect and collaborate. The twist on a standard LinkedIn group gives small business professionals the opportunity to network and discuss important issues, as well as share success stories and professional hurdles in an online forum created especially for them.

Succeed will offer valuable information and content in a variety of ways, including a small-business oriented Special Edition of LinkedIn Today, an editorial platform that aggregates and curates highly relevant and targeted news from one million publishers across the web.

“At Staples, we’re always providing new ways to help our small business customers succeed,” said Alison Corcoran, senior vice president marketing, Staples Retail. “Together with LinkedIn, we have the opportunity to develop a vital small business community and build on our relationships with this important segment through the leading social network for professionals.”

To engage members, the managed group will offer benefits such as industry expert profiles, targeted events, incentive awards, spotlight Q&As, and weekly polls. The content will be managed, and monitored by a dedicated editorial staff at LinkedIn.

“We are pleased to work with Staples to create an environment which offers content that matters to small business professionals,” said Jonathan Lister,vice president, North American Sales, Marketing Solutions, LinkedIn. “Through Succeed, we aim to give our members the resources they need to be more productive and successful within the digital and social context that is most relevant to them.”

Staples branding will be visible throughout the group’s page, including a “Powered by Staples” tag and four areas of branded content on the right rail. LinkedIn has also placed measurement tools on the group’s page for administrators and members to gauge performance using on-site analytics.

Both companies aim to engage existing Staples customers as well as capture the attention of new small business professionals. As such, both companies will amplify insights from the group through a combination of member-facing e-mails and e-newsletters, messaging on the Staples LinkedIn Company Page, and posts on social media channels.

After joining the group new members receive the following letter from Community Manager Amy Chen

Thanks for joining Succeed! We want to hear your thoughts on the challenges — and joys — of being part of a small business.

As our newest member, you are encouraged to share articles, start new conversations, and post polls that would appeal to the community. Please also feel free to offer your expertise in existing discussions. To learn more about posting guidelines, click on “Group Rules” at the top right of the group.

If you’d like to introduce yourself (or just learn more about who is in the group), please add a comment to the existing thread and help us get to know you.

Lastly, don’t forget to bookmark our Special Edition for Small Business, which covers the latest news, inspiring stories, and essential tips for small business professionals: www.linkedin.com/today/se/smallbusiness.

Best,
Amy Chen
Community Manager
Succeed: Small Business Network, Powered by Staples
@LinkedInSmBiz
www.linkedin.com/in/amychenwrites

To join the SUCCEED: Small Business Network, visit www.linkedin.com/succeedsmallbiz



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Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan).

Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s.
Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago.

Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.