Dive Brief:

  • Staples launched a quarterly magazine for sparking conversation and provide resources for professionals who see their work “as more than just a job,” according to a press release. Called Staples Worklife, the publication is a component of the company’s new branding as “The Worklife Fulfillment Company.”
  • The print and digital magazine, which launches with a circulation of 250,000, is part of a larger campaign that also includes a Staples Worklife podcast, e-newsletter, live events and a digital community.
  • The first issue includes an interview with author Daniel Pink about motivation mistakes and how to correct them, an article on ways to calm a corporate culture, a guide to managing workplace conflict and The Decider, a flowchart tool that, in the premiere issue, helps readers decide whether a particular meeting is a must-attend.

Dive Insight:

As Staples faces competition from online sellers like Amazon and others that also offer office supplies and equipment, the company is trying to become more than just a retailer by ramping up its lifestyle marketing.

Staples’ latest brand transformation — launched in April — positions the retailer as a “worklife fulfillment” firm, and includes a new logo, digital experience, product solutions guide, social media pages and five separate product lines: business essentials, technology solutions, built-to-spec facility supplies, furniture and décor collection and break-room essentials.

The fresh messaging centers around conveying that Staples is not just a place to order printer cartridges and staplers, but a solutions provider that helps companies and employees work better and happier.

The effort is part of a growing movement among brands to extend beyond a product source, since anyone can order items online. Outdoor gear store REI, for example, says on its site that it helps customers “experience the transformational power of nature.” Lodging marketplace Airbnb describes itself as “a community built on sharing.” Not coincidentally, both brands also released print/digital magazines, even as the print magazine industry struggles with delivering engaging physical publications. But, in their printed form, magazines give a feeling of membership to subscribers.

The first Worklife industry event will take place in Boston, in conjunction with Fast Company’s branding content studio, with panels about productivity, connectivity and inspiration, as well as product brand experiences and networking sessions.