The Postal Service
Brand Audit and Repositioning
Pictures from various sources. This is part of SVA’s Master of Branding thesis project. Team members are Joana Brito, Miguele Issa, Derek Lee, Lynette Pope and myself. Class conducted by Scott Lerman (Lucid Brand) and Melanie Wiesenthal (Deerfield)
Born in 1775, The Postal Service has served America since the beginning. They bound the nation, built the land infrastructure, and democratized information. However, since the 2008 economic crunch, The Postal Service has fallen out of culture. President trump called them the Delivery boy of Amazon, they are struggling financially, and people love to hate them.
They are also facing these challenges:
- The means of communication has changed, and the culture of snail mail has gradually declined.
- The Post Office retail experience has not met the fast pace culture.
- Startups and private competitors have more flexibility and resource to serve the modern needs.
- The Postal Service is not capable of starting a conversation worth talking on social media due to its regulation constraint.
We investigated what it takes to change the course of the USPS to be a sustainable institution?
We investigated groups of audiences the Postal Service serves.
Senders and Receivers
We categorized them based on the two extremes: isolated communities and the e-commerce driven users. We learned that need determines value, and every need is different. Only the Postal Service is able and willing to serve the isolated communities by delivering vaccination, medicine, and newspaper. The e-commerce driven users feel disappointed when receiving junk mail, but they feel joy when receiving something that has value to them.
Over 90% of American industry is small businesses. The Postal Service meets their business model, and we want to focus on them. We learned that one positive experience opens up to more possibilities. Once they worked with the Postal Service, they are likely to come back for other needs.
The employee’s job benefits and stability cause complacency and needs to be counterbalanced by recognition. We found that they don’t get enough appreciation from the management and the customers.
True that competition, inflexibility, and regulation have stagnated the Postal Service. They had fallen out of culture. However, the audience analysis showed that they are still serving their purpose and they are relying on the Postal Service. If the company is privatized or dismantled, America will lose:
- The foundation that supports the economy.
- The most accessible and inclusive service with the broadest reach.
- Over 500,000 jobs.
- The core of the mailing industry that all others rely upon.
Recommended New Positioning
There are only 47% of Americans feel proud of being ones. People have low trust in the national institutions, laws have separated families at the border, and businesses have valued profits over principles. Moreover, the nation is divided.
We learned that the Postal Service is tirelessly serving the nation until the last miles despite America today. It’s dedication, intrepid, and resourceful spirits made realized that what they had done is to make America delivers and grow.
‘America Always Delivers’ is the new positioning we purposed. America is the states, the small businesses, and the people. The Postal Service is enabling America to deliver with them through their reliable and inclusive services.
We used and focused on specifically America because they are part of the national institution, and they can own the word.
This positioning is the umbrella of the four executions we recommend for the Postal Service as the starting point to shift people’s perception of the company.
Small Businesses Incubators
The Postal Service could leverage their historical buildings by facilitating small businesses space to work, shipping center, expert support, and fulfillment needs. For a start, these incubators will strategically located in cities that have the fastest growing e-commerce and startups companies, such as Atlanta, Detroit, and New York.
The Postal Service could leverage the partnership they have with large companies that have a solid reputation such as CVS. By co-leasing CVS location, Postal Service will become more accessible and convenient.
Delivering more than just mail and packages
We recommend the Postal Service to prioritize the needs of isolated communities and the underserved because they are the only one who can reach the most distant points in America. They could deliver what people valued the most by utilizing their trucks, delivery routes, and facilitating the retiree to volunteer.
Packages design, commemorative stamps, and a social media campaign can help to communicate this new positioning. We recommend emphasizing the success story of the states, the small businesses, and the people on each of their communication medium.
With all of these executions, we hope that the press, the government, the people will shift their perception of the Postal Service; not anymore being the delivery boy, junk mail machine, or useless institution, but an enabler for America to always deliver.