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UPS delivers new brand campaign

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United Parcel Service of America Inc. last month launched a redesigned brand identity with a global ad campaign designed to reposition the company as much more than a package delivery service.

The most visible change is a new logo, which features the 40-year-old brown shield but eliminates the package with the string bow on top. The new streamlined and stylized look is the next step in UPS’ effort to convey the breadth of services it offers. FutureBrand, New York, created the brand identity.

To communicate the new identity to customers, partners and stakeholders, UPS on March 25 launched an integrated marketing campaign with the theme "Synchronizing the World of Commerce," developed by the Martin Agency, Richmond, Va. The campaign follows on the heels of "What can Brown do for you?," a $46 million marketing blitz that started in early 2002. That campaign, also developed by Martin, showed the capabilities of UPS, from supply chain management to logistics to global financial services.

"The objective is to introduce our expanded capabilities to customers and future customers," said John Beystehner, senior VP-worldwide sales and marketing for UPS. "Now we’re bringing that all together under the phrase ‘synchronizing global commerce.’ "

The campaign includes TV spots, print ads, radio, direct mail and a NASCAR sponsorship. The budget was not disclosed.

Repositioning risks

"The biggest challenge of repositioning a brand is to show why it’s different," said Gary Stein, analyst of marketing and advertising at Jupiter Research, San Francisco, a division of Jupitermedia. However, he added, with an established brand such as UPS, it’s also important to make sure the changes aren’t too drastic.

"UPS is smart," Stein said. "They are making sure they’re still known as the same company." He cited the new logo, which keeps the brand identity intact through the continuity of the brown shield.

With a repositioning, "probably more important than the external communications are the internal communications," Stein said, pointing to the need to communicate the new brand to salespeople and partners.

Sales reps trained

UPS has started a major internal training program for its sales reps, who will carry the message of the new identity to customers and prospects.

The campaign launched with a TV spot titled "Anthem," featuring the voice of actor Ed Harris. The spot consists of a series of vignettes about package delivery situations and discusses the range of UPS services. The target audience is senior managers with responsibility for shipping decisions.

On April 8, UPS introduced four spots that target shipping managers, office managers and small-business managers. The spots focus on supply chain solutions, small-business solutions, shipping and office management.

In addition to TV, UPS is running ads in general business publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Fortune, and trades such as Supply Chain Management and Logistics Management.

UPS is also redesigning its entire vehicle fleet—from its brown delivery trucks to its aircraft—with the new logo.

"We are involved in what we believe is one of largest and most complex rebranding efforts that has ever taken place," said Rick Radermacher, director of national advertising for UPS.

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