In two new overtures to business customers, the office supplies retailer plans to build a B2B mobile app and launches an ad campaign with a 1970s rock song.

Office Depot Inc. is sharpening its focus on the business market with a new ad campaign that summons the “Taking Care of Business” rock music song from the 1970s.

The multimedia ad campaign plays up the theme that, like its business customers, Office Depot has the resources to tend to business. “We know our customers work hard at taking care of their businesses,” says Diane Nick, senior vice president of marketing. “Through this platform that will be amplified across our channels, we want them to know that we’ll be there to take care of them.”

The “Taking Care of Business” ad campaign launched with two 30-second TV commercials, including one that features workers from multiple occupations: architect, entrepreneur, general contractor, plumber and office professionals. It also includes mom in the list.

Before launching the ad campaign, Office Depot showed a preview of it to 2,000 people, including 1,000 business buyers, 400 college students and 600 other consumers. The research “found that many of our customers, business owners and moms alike, consider themselves resourceful” and identified with the campaign, Nick says.

The campaign, developed by the retailer’s ad agency, Zimmerman Advertising, will run consistent messaging across national TV and radio ads, social media, multiple forms of digital advertising, email, direct mail materials and inserts in national publications, Nick says. In addition, it will also run coordinated marketing displays on OfficeDepot.com, on the retailer’s mobile site and app, and in its retail stores, which cater to small and mid-size business as well as consumers.

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Office Depot rival Staples Inc. launched its own business-targeting advertising campaign in May.

Office Depot is also moving ahead with an agreement signed last week with Centriq Technology Inc., a developer of asset-management software, to develop a mobile app designed to help businesses manage their usage and online purchases of such office supplies as computers and printers. “The benefit for businesses is efficient management of their assets and retention of that knowledge all in the palm of their hand,” says Gerry Smith, CEO of Office Depot. “Through game-changing applications like this, we will differentiate Office Depot and provide more value to our customers.”

Office Depot and Centriq will initially develop a version of the asset-management app for consumers. In addition to the ability to purchase home and office supplies and receive online customer service, the consumer app will let uses access content related to home improvement projects from two TV programs, “This Old House” and “Ask This Old House.”

Office Depot is No. 42 in the B2B E-Commerce 300; Staples is No. 22. It has been more than a year since the two office supplies retailers aborted their planned merger after a federal court ruling thwarted it on anti-trust grounds.

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