Staples Dramatically Reinvents Itself and Its Private Brands

    Almost a year and a half after being acquired by private equity firm Sycamore Partners office supply retailer Staples has announced a dramatic rebranding of the Staples brand as well as an even more dramatic reinvention of its private brand portfolio. The move is designed to help customers create thriving workplaces, it includes five new private brands, a powerful new digital experience, and the unveiling of content-rich print and online solutions

    The new strategy is driven by the retailer’s commitment to helping professionals make their workplaces more productive and connected, and to provide products and services designed to help inspire colleagues to do their best, most creative work. The recognition that work can be more than just a job, but rather a career fueled by purpose, people and fulfillment, is what Staples refers to as “Worklife”.

    “Our customers have a passion for making their workplace the best it can be,” said Sandy Douglas, Staples’ Chief Executive Officer. “At Staples, we share that passion. Worklife fulfillment is about helping businesses of all sizes as they create the most dynamic and productive work environments for their teams.”

    “Our customers deserve more than just an algorithm for ordering products for their business,” he continued. “They are creative, collaborative, idea-driven professionals, and the go-to person for their workplace. Our team’s role in their success is to provide product and service solutions at great prices, and to understand their business needs.”

    After well over a quarter-century of being known for its slanted L logo, Staples is introducing a new logo signaling its brand evolution and the enhanced experience it is delivering to its customers. The staple now plays a more prominent role, set in a friendly and approachable font. The new simplified and modernized icon is also a more direct representation of the Staples’ name.

    “Today’s workplace is evolving and so is Staples,” said Marshall Warkentin, Chief Marketing Officer, Staples. “Employees are increasingly looking for a more dynamic environment that is flexible and that recognizes their creativity and constantly changing needs. Our new logo is symbolic of the commitment we are making to our customers: they are innovative, forward-thinking problem-solvers, and it’s important for them to know that we are, too. Our solutions for Worklife extend well beyond business essentials. We have expertise in furniture, technology, pack and ship and facilities. And we are partners to our customers every step of the

    In support of its new retail brand, Staples has reinvented and expanded its private brand portfolio partnering with designers and customers to create products designed to inspire creativity and energy. These five brands dramatically replace the Staples brand on product and each is designed to target a specific business need:

    TRU RED™: Thoughtfully designed business essentials to help teams work, create and innovate better such as pens, notebooks, shredders, organizational accessories, and more

    NXT Technologies™: Technology solutions that keep teams connected and productive – wherever work takes them

    Coastwide Professional™: Professional-grade facility supplies that are built to spec for no wasted product or labor

    Union & Scale™: Furniture and décor collections that work together in perfect harmony

    The fifth brand has not yet been launched, but Staples has revealed its name and basic positioning.

    Perk™: Quality breakroom essentials with just the right touch of personality

    The new brands are now available on Staples.com and StaplesAdvantage.com and will also be sold through Staples’ partner companies Quill.com and Hi-Touch Business Services. Beginning April 14, 2019, TRU RED™ and NXT Technologies™ will be available in Staples retail stores, with plans for additional brands to also rollout to retail stores in the coming months. Additional products from each brand will be introduced throughout 2019.

    Staples is also rolling out The Loop, an advertorial magazine that features many of the new private brand products. The publication will include innovative and creative ways to use office products and tools.

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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.