UPS Repositions, Launches Ad Campaign

McKinsey apparently will soon be feeling more competitive pressure from UPS than will FedEx or the U.S. Postal Service. So suggests a new advertising campaign that will launch in conjunction with the NCAA basketball tournament next week.

The “United Problem Solvers” campaign, which urges customers to “bring us your baffling” and “how do we do thats,” has UPS taking a value-added approach to the shipping wars, calling on its knowledge of verticals such as automotive, healthcare, high tech, and retail to dispense business advice.

A TV spot reveals UPS attempting a bold repositioning of its mission statement. “We’re in the ‘pushing what’s possible’ business, the ‘how do I get this startup off the ground’ business, the ‘taking your business global’ business. We’re in the problem-solving business,” says the voiceover, which promises to bring some 400,000 global employees to bear on the business world’s problems.  

A print ad addressing online sellers shows young women trying on shoes just received via UPS and touts online tools that direct returns to off-site warehouses that manage exchanges expressly for retailers. Another ad, directed at startups, urges them to bring UPS their business plans and questions and take advantage of their wide industry experience.

“We are continuing to change in response to customers’ needs,” Alan Gershenhorn, EVP and chief commercial officer, said in a company statement. “We’re transforming UPS from a logistics provider to a full-service partner that offers world-class expertise and capabilities that helps customers increase revenue, improve cash flow, minimize lead time, and reduce cost.”

McKinsey, you heard it here first.

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