Bureau Direct

Agency: Red Hot Penny

Building Brand Identity in a crowded market

Bureau Direct is a family owned and run business that is independent, dedicated and responsive. They offer stylish and colourful stationery, notebooks and office equipment for both B2B and B2C clientele. The original Bureau Direct shop was opened in 1995 in Covent Garden, London. Since then, the online store was launched in March 2003 and in 2004 the brand decided to concentrate on the website and online trading. Following this decision, the online store for Bureau Direct has gone from strength-to-strength offering a unique mixture of stationery equipment including Lamy Pens and Field Notes bullet journals.

20%    Traffic increase YoY
34%    Increase in Revenue YoY
20%    Increase in conversions YoY


A foundation of research


Bureau Direct’s many years of successful trading has made them well known in their niche for high quality stationery. However, the wider stationery market is crowded both online and offline with high street chains, office supply firms, supermarkets and gift shops all competing. To remain competitive and increase growth and conversions, Bureau Direct and Red Hot Penny worked hard to understand the market and mark out Bureau Direct’s place in the industry. In depth competitor analysis and research into the sector, its customers and influences gave each decision a foundation of data and a clear opportunity to innovate and make the most of gaps in products and categories offered by the larger well-known brands. This analysis continued further into the core search phrases and keywords unique to the online stationery market and made Red Hot Penny’s work highly focused and targeted to relevant audiences.


Comprehensive Content Focus


On page optimisation has been a major contributor to Bureau Direct’s success over the past year. Through meticulous rewrites of over 150 pages of content each category gained a boost against the larger sites which relied upon duplicated manufacturer supplied content to indicate products and ranges to visitors and search engines. These same pages received bespoke, hand written page titles and Meta descriptions to attract click throughs from the search engine results pages and give clarity to similar categories such as various colours of envelope and sizes of paper. Targeted content was also successful through the popular blog pages, with research showing that creating blogs on users’ historical specific searches has had a very significant impact in traffic visiting the Bureau Direct site through organic traffic.


Outreach for Natural Links


Red Hot Penny’s guidance on content, topics and keywords combined with creative strategies such as the Star Wars Origami infographic has given the Bureau Direct site and associated blog some very high quality natural links from relevant sites including broadsheet newspapers, national magazines and stationery bloggers. This has reinforced Bureau Direct’s place in the quality stationery niche, introduced new audiences and raised awareness about new and limited edition products, major contributors to the increased conversion rate of 20% YoY and 60% increase in revenue YoY. These links from engaging creative content have greatly improved Bureau Direct’s backlink profile and made the site more competitive in organic search results pages. With a new site just launched and more of Red Hot Penny’s service offerings working with Bureau Direct, expect this online stationery store to continue to go from strength to strength.