Staples Inc. is overhauling its marketing as part of a high-stakes pivot away from what it was built on — selling low-priced office supplies at big stores.
The rebranding campaign, created by Interpublic’s MRM/McCann, kicks off next week with nationwide TV commercials in which stores are nonexistent and products are only shown in passing. There’s no mention of discounts either.
Instead, the spots star and extol office and building managers as they fix copy machines, clean up spills and restock the breakroom — all with the help of Staples’ delivery business. These are precisely the workers the company sees as crucial to its revival from years of falling sales because they make the purchasing decisions for more than a million U.S. small businesses.
“We wanted to tell a new Staples story,” said Frank Bifulco, the company’s chief marketing officer. “It’s going to convey to all audiences that Staples is much more than a retail office- supply company.”
McCann is working with Staples after parting ways earlier this year with rival Office Depot, which U.S. regulators blocked Staples from buying in 2016. Office Depot selected fellow Florida business Zimmerman as agency of record in March, resuming a relationship dating back to 2014
After Staples’ attempt to acquire Office Depot was thwarted, the company shifted from consolidation mode. Instead, it began to aggressively pursue customers in the $80 billion-a-year U.S. midmarket — or businesses with fewer than 200 employees. Staples currently has less than 5% of that market. The plan includes…