Executive Summary: Staples Inc.
The world’s largest office superstore, Staples, has paved the way in marketing for the
office supply chain industry. With the current largest market share and over $20 billion in sales,
Staples continues to grow as a strong financial investment and great marketing leader. After the
implementation of the “easy” campaign, where Staples emphasized the convenience that only
Staples Incorporated could offer, the earnings per share sky-rocketed to more than double.
The current campaign (2003), detailed as “That was easy,” refers to an “easy” button-
implying that Staples has the capabilities of taking a convoluted customer situation and
simplifying it with their product differentiation, global locations, and customer-oriented services.
Major competitors include Office Max, Office Depot, and Wal-Mart. Although the three
main competitors also hold a large market share, they do not have the product differentiation,
convenience and/or everyday customer-focus currently necessary to be as solid and strong as
The marketing strategy used by Staples focuses on the target market of everyday
consumers and businesses. By allocating reasonable prices and directly mailing promotions to
homes, Staples targets everyone from day-to-day users to large corporations. Staples can offer
office supplies in bulk or in single units. They have established the foundation for office supply
In 2003, Staples began their dedicated campaign to making their company customer-
focused. They restructured their website and stores to accommodate market automation. Through
market automation, historical information relevant to current purchases are used to turn potential
customers into actual consumers. This, with a series of other market strategies (convenience,
advertisements, promotions, etc.), advanced Staples to become the number one in the office
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