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Brand Confusion Over Office Depot and Office Max

While on the phone the other day, I made a reference to having stopped at an office supply store on the way home from work. The person on the other end asked which one, and after a slight pause, I realized that wasn’t quire sure. It was either an Office Depot or an Office Max, but I wasn’t sure which.

The other person thought it was odd that I hadn’t known, as if the two chains are distinguishable enough to easily separate the two. They obviously aren’t to me.

After putting more thought into it, I realized I don’t have the same issue with other types of brands that are similar in nature, whether it be Walmart vs. Target, Menard’s vs. Lowe’s, or UPS vs. FedEx.

I’m aware of several office supply stores that exist around my home and where I work. I know which ones happen to be Staples. As for the non-Staples stores, that’s where I get tripped up. I know they are either an Office Depot or an Office Max, but I couldn’t tell you which.

The problem likely stems from their respective logos and by how similar they are. They both begin with the word “Office” and share a similar font. The difference in their respective black and red color schemes, however, is not enough to distinguish them in my brain the way I do with Walmart (identified with blue) and Target (identified with red).

On average, I probably only visit an office supply store a handful of times a year, stopping at whichever one I’m closest to at the time. My apparent apathy probably isn’t of help towards my brand confusion between the two chains.

As I previously mentioned, I don’t get confused with Staples, of which I am aware the “easy button” branding belongs to. With that impressive bit of trivial knowledge, I suppose that spares me from the mistake of looking for an “easy button” toy from either Office Depot or Office Max.

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