How Staples is preparing for the back-to-office shift
One of the biggest consumer changes spurred by the pandemic is the shift to working from home for millions of Americans. Yet as coronavirus vaccines roll out, many companies are inviting their workers back to the office.
Whether at home or in the office, consumers still need office supplies. Daniel Reilly, VP of brand and product management at Staples, has spent recent months trying to foster stronger connections with customers for the 10 owned brands he manages. While these brands, including Tru Red and Coastwide Professional, sell at Staples, they also sell at outside retailers including Amazon, Walmart and Target.
“We admire those direct-to-consumer brands—you know plenty of them that built a business on having a strong relationship with the consumer, but they eventually hit this hurdle where they don’t have the distribution,” says Reilly, speaking on the latest episode of the “Marketer’s Brief” podcast. “We have that already—our twist has been on beginning to reposition communications to consumers.”
During the pandemic, Reilly worked on improving Staples’ website and offering perks including free shipping. Staples also switched up the pack sizes of its products, since many consumers needed smaller quantities of supplies such as pens and notebooks.
Reilly says that people sometimes indulge in office supplies in the office, "but in a home environment they tend to not have as many things around,"
As people return to offices, Staples is planning new marketing this spring to highlight its brands.