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The relaunch of the UPS brand in 2002 with the "What Can Brown Do for You?" campaign did more than accentuate the company's trademark color. "It pushed to a senior audience that UPS could offer them extended capabilities to synchronize commerce and manage supply chains," said Larry Bloomenkranz, VP-brand management for the Atlanta-based global logistics and shipping giant.

Almost simultaneously, United Parcel Service of America rebranded all its Mail Boxes Etc. locations into the UPS Stores, "giving us nearly 4,000 new branding opportunities on the local level to small businesses," Bloomenkranz said.

Now, the company is trying to carry the brand forward with a two-pronged approach that appeals to CXOs and shipping managers alike. The new thrust to its advertising efforts amounts to "We can do more for you than you think," Bloomenkranz said. "Our messages are getting more to the specific products and services UPS offers its customers."

On the global commerce level, that includes big picture services such as UPS Trade Direct, which helps companies go to market faster around the world. And to small businesses and shipping departments, UPS is highlighting capabilities "that go far beyond just shipping and packing," Bloomenkranz said. "For instance, we're touting such things as copying and presentation services at our UPS Stores." He added that UPS sees the need and opportunity to strengthen its position with small businesses and shipping managers.

Such strategies continue to wow branding experts. "UPS has made a series of smart, bold moves to reposition the brand for today as well as tomorrow," said John Barker, president of DZP Marketing Communications. "Not only did they identify their brand equities-trusted delivery, friendly service and the color brown, but also they distanced themselves from their own name, which was too closely associated with physical package delivery, by creating the proprietary nickname, `Brown.' The boldness of this move should not be overlooked. UPS created a second self, a persona that could embody new attributes and benefits."

Beth Zimmerman, founder and principal of Cerebellas, a market strategy and brand consultancy, said: "UPS remains such an enduring brand because it makes strategic and subtle shifts to adapt to worldwide markets. Although the company has had only five corporate taglines in its history, each has been carefully crafted."

Zimmerman added: "The company's work is, for the most part, easy to explain and understand, and even if the average customer does not grasp or care about UPS' capabilities in logistics and supply chain management, customers of all stripes can easily relate to its work and brand."

-Roger Slavens

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