Designing Brand Strategy For Workbar

Workbar meets Staples, and introduces co-working to people who drive minivans.


Workbar is one of Boston’s most successful young startups. Its 11 urban locations provide 700 coworkers with great office amenities and an inspiring network. But what about all the people outside the city? Don’t suburbanites deserve an awesome workspace, too?


Workbar came up with a brilliant solution: build full-service coworking spaces inside of Staples stores. Workbar reaches a new audience in a car-friendly location, while Staples takes advantage of underutilized space (and gets a little street cred in the process). But the real winner? The guy in the Volvo who used to suck fumes going to work every day.


First, we had to know more about our audience. Did suburbanites actually want an awesome workspace, or was the “suburban solopreneur” segment just a figment of our imagination? We worked together with the project team to develop customer intelligence and validate the business opportunity. We were surprised to learn that the Workbar members were a bit older and more spread out than we expected, and cared less about Workbar’s urban location than its other features, such as a variety of work spaces and a smart, interesting community.



We leveraged our audience insights to create a new set of messages and brand assets that would help codify the recipe for Workbar’s special sauce—a friendly, quirky blend of smart people and thoughtful spaces. We then collaborated with Workbar and Staples, along with a team of consultants, to ensure a seamless transition between the two very different brands. An extensive brand playbook ensured that every iteration of Workbar @ Staples stays consistent, while a dedicated landing page announced the details and environmental graphics brought it all to life.


3 Successful Launches
Danvers, Brighton, Norwood

“Staples Finds New Use for it’s Stores: Offices”
—The Wall Street Journal