Tuesday, February 2

Office Depot and Small Businesses

I'm a sucker for creative writing, and I've been taught by the best (most notably Helayne Spivak who was my Chief Creative Officer when I ran Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness). So when I saw the new advertising for Office Depot, the brand drew me right in.

The commercial features a local community barber being over run by a corporate hair salon chain offering $6 haircuts. His business is tanking because the corporate conglomerate is able to under cut him and steal business. So what's he do? He goes to his local Office Depot and makes a huge sign: "We Fix $6 Haircuts" -- which puts the chain salon right out of business.

Very clever. But also highly relevant in our current economic climate.

Small businesses are struggling. Unable to withstand lower demand and higher costs like their big business counterparts, they are either going under or creating clever and unique ways to keep alive. They are innovating! The truth is that small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and many say are the solution to our recovery. So let's support them.

Local communities are banding together to encourage consumers to buy local. I read one article that had a theory: pick five local shops and buy from each of them just once a month, and the economy will right align itself. Have not done the math on that yet, but I like the concept.

Congrats to Office Depot for showcasing the kind of innovative thinking that can come from the entrepreneurs of our economy. Of course it doesn't hurt that Office Depot offers products that help small businesses stay organized.

What's your experience? Jim.

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