Sunday, October 30, 2011

Boston Delight #2: Now Visiting the Home of the Bean and the Cod – and Staples.

Howdy from Boston. Spending too much time in one part of the country sometime makes me forget great brands in other parts of the country – it’s more true now as Signalwrite Marketing than when I was the creative director of a nationally oriented B2B agency. Arriving in Boston, though, it is hard to ignore Staples.

Staples is the world's largest office products company and the mid-1980s were a key growth era. I remember its more-or-less original slogan, “Yeah, we've got that.”

This slogan was retired in 2003 when Staples hired Martin|Williams in Minneapolis to create a new brand. The old slogan was replaced with “That was easy.” Expanding on that theme, 2005 ads featured a large red push-button marked “easy.” In 2006, Staples' new ad agency, McCann Erickson (creative), and MediaCom (media-buying) won a gold Effie for the effectiveness of their "Easy Button" campaign, which has sold 1.5 million prop Easy buttons.

It’s a brand strategy – reduced in the best possible sense to three words and a visual – that lives long and prospers. In fact, as recently as last week Peter Cohan was blogging on that Staples is a considerably better investment than poor-performing Office Depot.

The Easy Button is one of the great distillations of a wonderful brand solution. Glad I’m in Beantown to be able to blog about it.

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