Staples' Evolution

The office giant used Waltham, Massachusetts-based Affinnova's innovative software to redesign and relaunch its paper brand

In 2007, Staples (SPLS) realized it needed to take a new look at paper. The branded product is an important part of the company's office supplies category, which accounts for 41.8% of sales. But two industry trends were complicating purchases. First, products had become machine-specific—some were designed for copiers, say, while others worked best in laser printers. Second, paper was being further balkanized by eco-labeling that reported its percentage of recycled content. "We wanted to make the shopping experience easy, and to do that we had to fundamentally rethink the packaging and the makeup of the line itself," says Andrew Schneider, Staples' director of strategic planning.

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