Max effort, min impact
More to think about
Despite a lengthy and dedicated effort to target female consumers, America’s second-largest office-supplies company failed to deliver value to women – who account for $44.5 billion of office supply sales every year in the US alone.
OfficeMax’s approach was actually spot on. First the company conducted user research with a customer advisory panel comprising of 5,000 women. Then they developed Eve, a persona that represented the target segment’s needs and was ‘consulted’ in design decisions.
On the basis of this insight, OfficeMax created a new shop layout, online shop, catalogue, packaging, service offerings and email marketing – rightly recognising that women buy the whole experience.
Nevertheless, their ‘Life is beautiful. Work can be too’ television commercial, launched earlier this year, is a tribute to all things ‘girly’.
The flowery product packaging has been criticised by women bloggers for oozing ‘girl’ rather than ‘professional’.
And the biggest mistake of all: OfficeMax didn’t alter the usability or function of products. Women were offered the same products with different packaging.