Staples helps PNC connect with female financial decision makers.

Woman-owned businesses can often have a more difficult path to success than those owned by their male counterparts, although studies agree that women-owned businesses are the fastest-growing business segment in the United States. And while the number of wealthy women is growing faster than the number of wealthy men, many women still feel invisible in conversations with financial institutions.

With this in mind, Staples Promotional Products worked hand-in-hand with PNC to develop a giveaway program to focus on, energizing and empower female financial decision makers during PNC’s 6th annual Women in Business Week. Excited to help female financial decision makers thrive and network, this was the first time Staples took part in this event, which allowed participants to choose their own gifts.

The Client

As a large bank with more than 160 years history, PNC offers a wide range of services for customers ranging from individuals and small businesses, to corporations and government entities. Committed to providing clients with great service and the expertise necessary to reach their financial goals, PNC has a longstanding history of supporting not only its customers, but also communities, employees and shareholders.

The Challenge

PNC wanted to reach female financial decision makers, including current customers and prospects, for Women in Business Week. Goals included increasing banker engagement, building or deepening relationships, finding referrals and thanking current customers.

To do this, they needed creative gift ideas sourced from woman-owned businesses or tied in to organizations that support women’s initiatives or causes. They wanted more than one gift option, as well as allowing for a charitable donation. Additionally, if possible, they wanted the suppliers to have a give-back component to their offerings, as PNC values suppliers who work for good causes.

PNC also needed a multi-platform ordering solution to equip its bankers with the materials they needed to assist in their selling efforts, along with a client facing website to select a thank you gift.

The Solution

Staples worked closely with PNC to determine its goals and requirements, and then developed creative product solutions that included three options. Option one was a Denik Journal with a cover designed by female artists Dariela and Dariana, owners of Dari Design Studio. A portion of its proceeds went towards a school in Laos.

A second choice was a Prosperity Candle with a custom wrap, box and insert card. As a majority women-owned social enterprise, their handmade candles help provide a living wage to women who have recently resettled in the US from refugee camps, and support women artisans and entrepreneurs around the world.

Finally, recipients could choose to donate to Save the Children in lieu of a gift. Save the Children helps children in the United States and around the world.

To facilitate the gift-giving process, Staples developed a multi-platform ordering site and fulfillment program that allowed for kit tracking, usage data and survey questions.

The Result


Staples fulfilled enough kits to provide  30,000 new networking opportunities with female financial decision makers. PNC demonstrated its ongoing commitment to empowering women in business and money was raised for a good cause.