Background & Challenge:
Staples was founded by Leo Kahn and Thomas G. Stemberg, who were former rivals in the New England retail supermarket industry. The first store was opened in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston in 1986. Today the firm has 1,200 stores in the US and a further 300 in Canada.
Throughout most of the company’s history, Staples used the tagline “Yeah, we’ve got that” in its advertising to underscore its wide selection of products. This slogan was retired in 2003, to be replaced with “That was easy”. Expanding on the theme, the company created adverts in 2005 that featured a large red push-button marked “easy”. Originally, the easy button was meant to a fictitious button with magical properties, however, when the adverts appeared, customers began contacting the company to inquire how they could buy one.
In 2006, Staples had observed the success of Best Buy’s Geek Squad and Circuit City’s FireDog computer technology services business and wanted to build a similar offering that could add value in its store and complement Staples’ wide range of over 7,500 products sold in store.
Staples wanted to create a distinctive sub-brand for its services business and WANT was hired to create name ideas. We explored hundreds of ideas for the venture and EasyTech was selected due to its ability to capitalize on the one-word equity ‘Easy’ that Staples owned in the minds of its customers.
On January 30, 2007, Staples EasyTech was launched and included an 11′ x 17′ kiosk in every store. Within the kiosk, so-called Easy Resident Techs offered repair services as well as sold hardware, software and accessories. These technicians wore grey polo shirts with the EasyTech sub-brand to help distinguish them from regular Staples workers. Beginning in July 2008, Staples launched a new program labelling all technology workers as “EasyTechs”.