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Staples Paper Gets a New Look in 2009

Staples Paper Gets a New Look in 2009

By Jessie Scanlon, Business Week

The Starting Point

Staples’ original paper line included 14 different products and a complex packaging scheme: red, blue, and gold indicated good, better, best in terms of quality; green indicated environmental-friendliness; and machine-specific papers were packaged in darker blue. Marketing firm Affinnova’s research addressed questions such as “Does the color strategy make sense?” and “Should the machine-specific papers be merged with the good-better-best system?”


Step 1

Staples identified 11 dominant design elements of the packaging and developed variations (in color, positioning, etc.) of each. Affinnova’s algorithm tested all of the possible variations in different combinations.


The 20-Minute Survey

Consumers taking part in the survey were shown a screen with three different design options and were asked to select their favorite. They then got another screen with three options and were queried again on their pick. And so on, and so on.