As the cliche goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Of the many companies that take this branding mantra to the extreme are FedEx.
Ten years ago, FedEx recognized that that with every package it delivers, every truck it drives, every plane it flies, every document it handles, every person that delivers packages and services, represents a point of interaction with a customer. Every point of interaction is an opportunity to make a brand impression.
Brand equity is about trust, reliability, ingenuity, quality, and the “right image.” In the early 2000s, FedEx undertook a major branding makeover initiative. It changed the company’s name from FDX Corp to FedEx. Its original name, Federal Express, was too long. FedEx realized that this long name does not convey the speed and efficiency of FedEx. After all, they reasoned, people are too busy to say Federal Express. And, with this FedEx become a noun, as in, “Just FedEx it.” FedEx earned a place in everyday language.
Never before had FedEx taken such a systematic approach to its equipment and operations. FedEx was not looking for a merely cosmetic makeover. It started a wide-ranging overhaul of its brand image by restructuring, rethinking, and redesigning everything that interacts with its customers — from its customer centers to its drop boxes to the bags carried by its couriers to the trucks that carried its parcels, and to the planes that flew its packages. Ground shipping became “FedEx Home Delivery,” the global logistics division “FedEx Global Logistics,” and its division for time-critical shipments became “FedEx Custom Critical.”