Identifying the right target is critical. 

When OfficeMax approached us with the intention of establishing a more effective way of growing their business within the SMB market, we knew we needed to do some detective work, starting with the basics: their target audience and buyer story.

What we discovered

OfficeMax, along with their competitors, had completely missed the right target. They’d been setting their sights on top-level male business owners. The SMB reality told a very different story – Business Owners weren’t making all the decisions (and yet they were getting all the glory). The people doing all the real work weren’t even male!

What we did about it

Based on our research, and our instincts, it was clear that the right target couldn’t have been more different.

Female Office Managers and Admin Assistants.

We decided to get to know them better. As in all good stories we also identified a villain, and, in this case, it was the sad reality that these people were being overworked, underpaid and juggling multiple roles. Now, having built up real empathy towards the right target, we went about establishing how OfficeMax could alleviate the struggles of our unsung heroines, sparking an entire brand refresh.

This involved:

  • Reworking their communication, content and special offers with a brand-new tone of voice.
  • Retargeting their messaging, placing the real hero at the heart of the brand’s customer story and addressing their pain points.
  • Introducing new media channels to unlock new opportunities.
  • Creating a bespoke typeface entirely exclusive to OfficeMax.

And the result?

With the right target now identified and being shown the love and attention they deserved, OfficeMax enjoyed their best sales in a decade, and it has completely revolutionised the way they market their business. Such a drastic shift in direction, unpinned with research, insight and empathy meant they were able to gain significant market share by making the hero the heart of their story, and shedding the misconception that Business Owners were the key decision makers within SMB companies.

TESTIMONIAL: Sonja Webb, marketing manager of OfficeMax
“Steve has been a valued brand strategist for OfficeMax over the last 5 years and spearheaded the strategic thinking behind the re-positioning of our OfficeMax brand a number of years ago. He has a deep knowledge of business storytelling narratives and the ability to see where the perceptual white space is in the market and create a brand positioning strategy to successfully fill it.”