Martha Stewart is still alive and she’s at Staples
Is she still alive? That’s the question I got asked by one of the resident Millennials as I sat at my desk reading a Staples’ press release announcing the chain had reached a deal to sell a line of home office products under the Martha Stewart brand.
"We’re excited to team up with Martha Stewart to bring a new line of beautiful Martha Stewart Home Office products to our customers," said Demos Parneros, president of Staples North American stores and online, said in a statement. "The Martha Stewart Home Office products give our customers solutions they need to manage their home or home office in an attractive and functional way."
The deal marks the second time Ms. Stewart and Staples have worked together. The chain began selling Ms. Stewart’s branded office supplies, such as sticky notes, journals and rubber bands, in its stores and on its website in 2012.
While known by Baby Boomers for her television shows, books and magazine focused on homemaking, there is a younger generation of consumers who may not be as familiar with Ms. Stewart. What value does the Stewart brand hold for them?
A 2012 USA Today article questioned whether the number of products bearing Ms. Stewart’s brand had diluted her trademark in the process. At the time, Michael Stone, co-founder and CEO of Beanstalk, a brand licensing firm, said, "If you ask 50 people what the Martha Stewart brand stood for, you’d get a lot of different answers, which is not really what a brand is all about. A brand is a consistent image in people’s minds."
- Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Staples, Inc. Announce New Strategic Collaboration for the Martha Stewart Home Office Brand – Staples, Inc.
- Is Martha Stewart’s brand too confusing? – USA Today
- Is Martha Stewart Overextended at Retail? – RetailWire
How, if at all, has Martha Stewart’s brand equity changed over the last 10 or 20 years? What challenges or opportunities does this represent for retailers that sell Martha Stewart-branded products?