While she calls herself a “die hard” cataloger, president of Trainers Warehouse, Sue Landay said when she began researching the possibilities of launching a new catalog for its sister startup, Office Oxygen, it was just too expensive.
“I looked at the price tag and I started to have hives,” she said.
A lot has changed in the 20 years since Trainers Warehouse first launched primarily as a cataloguer in 1993. Landay said the internet has become a powerful tool in not only capturing consumers at Trainers Warehouse but also for boosting visibility after the spring launch Office Oxygen.
The idea for Office Oxygen came about, Landay said, after realizing that roughly 40% to 60% of the products sold at Trainers Warehouse could be sold in another arena. While a majority of the SKUs at Trainers Warehouse are geared toward corporate training and education, many fall into the working office environment category as well.
That is when the light bulb went off. Besides sharing nearly half of the products sold at Trainers Warehouse with the new brand, Landay decided to start using an already existing in-house segmented Trainers Warehouse lists and the social media fan base on LinkedIn to promote the launch of Office Oxygen. Mingling the two brands, Landay said, has not only done fantastic things for Office Oxygen’s exposure and helped them stay under budget.
“It’s been great in developing the identity and energizing the brand,” she said.
LinkedIn is the best social media website for the Office Oxygen audience since it “is a great place to share ideas and hold discussions” on how to improve the office environment, according to Landay. Facebook and Twitter, she said, are generally instantaneous reactions or discussions but nothing with real stamina in terms of increasing the productivity and enjoyment in the workplace. The Office Oxygen LinkedIn page is full of lively discussions and office tips which appear to be keeping the shoppers engaged, she said.
Not only is Office Oxygen using its additional marketing lists to get better exposure, Landay said they are also doing more with less at the corporate level. The same staff that handles Trainers Warehouse’s contact centers and fulfillment at the office in Massachusetts is also doing it for Office Oxygen.
“At this point the investment to start this is very small, we are using our existing people to absorb the extra [workload]…but we are getting this new brand up at a minimal expense,” she said.