For all intents and purposes, paper is a commoditized product. Buyers usually base their decision on price, because little else differentiates one manufacturer from another.
Staples-owned Quill.com is changing all that. Quill bought the licensing rights to the fictional Dunder Mifflin brand featured in NBC's hit comedy, The Office. The idea is that the Dunder Mifflin label would bring a hitherto missing element of fun and humor to the process of purchasing paper. It also brings an additional cost: Michael Scott's precious reams are priced slightly higher than private-level copy paper.
The success of Quill.com's strategy will depend on the priorities of paper buyers--consumers, as well as large and small businesses. Check out my analysis of the decision-makers' varying motivations in a recent AMA Marketing News Exclusive.
About the Author
Barbara Apple Sullivan is Managing Partner of Sullivan, a brand engagement firm she founded in 1990.
Barbara holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Follow Barbara on Twitter @bapplesullivan