Staples' new logo has an icon that could be a staple, but also a desk

The big box has a new mark and is investing in five new in-house labels to lure b-to-b clients

Published On
Apr 04, 2019

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Staples is keeping things literal with a new logo that includes a staple icon that can also be used as a desk. The office supplies retailer updated its brand this week with a new look, services and in-house offerings designed to appeal to its business customers.

The new logo puts a simple staple ahead of the Staples brand name, which is still in red. The "staple" logo is a departure from the Framingham, Mass.-based chain's slanted L logo, which was in use for more than 25 years. A release offers a not-so-necessary explanation, noting "the new simplified and modernized icon is also a more direct representation of the Staples' name." It's unclear which, if any, agencies worked with Staples on its new branding; a spokeswoman did not respond to a request for credits.

Marshall Warkentin, chief marketing officer, explained in a statement that the brand refresh symbolizes "the innovative, forward-thinking problem-solvers" that are Staples clients and the Staples brand itself.

One reviewer said the design changes are "not bad." Armin Vit, co-founder of design firm UnderConsideration, wrote in a blog post, "This is a fairly decent update and one that was needed—we may all have nostalgia for the old logo, but if you walk into any Staples everything looks like nostalgia. Old and out of date. This will help infuse their brand, and likely their stores, with a relatively fresh coat of paint."

That infusion is needed, as Staples battles competition from Amazon and Costco, which have been building out their business-to-business offerings. Costco now has dedicated business centers in several locations, while Amazon introduced Amazon Business four years ago to target brands with office supplies. Under new owner private equity firm Sycamore Partners, Staples recently split into two companies—Staples Inc. for B2B, and Staples Retail.

As part of the brand refresh, Staples has also created five new internal brands—taking a page from other retailers like Target and Dick's Sporting Goods that are focusing on in-house labels to fuel sales growth. Staples' new brands include Tru Red, for notebooks and pens, Nxt Technologies, for internal tech services, Coastwide Professional, which provides facility supplies, Union & Scale, a furniture collection, and a soon-to-be-released brand Perk, which will sell products for office breakrooms. Staples also created a new guide on its products, called The Loop.

To market the new offerings and branding, the chain, which is now using hashtag #WorklifeSolutions, is rolling out new social media pages on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.