My Behind the Scenes Look at the FedEx Brand

I recently had the privilege of hearing Steve Pacheco, the Director of Advertising & Marketing for FedEx, speak about the FedEx brand. Impressive. Entertaining. Insightful.

First, it's important you know I was with the American Advertising Federation Seventh District and attending a spring convention of around 200 people in Mobile, AL.  It was also during some major international air travel concerns in the Iceland area due to volcanic eruptions and the subsequent poor flying conditions. Hundreds of flights were being delayed or canceled. To say this affects FedEx worldwide shipping is an understatement.

Yet Steve Pacheco stayed true to his commitment to our little convention and his 45 minute speaking engagement. That's cool.  He's a class act.

His message was to tell the story of the FedEx brand. Most of us are pretty familiar with its history starting with one of the more popular product pitch lines of all time (when it absolutely positively has to be there overnight). Interestingly, every marketing example he showed absolutely positively fulfilled that message. He showed some of the more popular and recent TV commercials. Check out the FedEx YouTube channel. It's quite entertaining. It's also worth noting how many videos are posted that were never intended for TV broadcast. They receive hundreds of thousands of views through social media, an intentional strategy.

He also spent a while talking about the greatest brand-product endorsement ever - the movie Castaway. A movie featuring Oscar winner Tom Hanks about your company's brand promise?  Are you kidding me? And the blockbuster film concludes with the package being delivered. Unbelievable.

As a life-long ad agency dude, here's what I admired most from Mr. Pacheco. He went out of his way to recognize BBDO, the ad agency of records for FedEx for the past 20 years. He basically said the success of the FedEx brand was a team effort and that BBDO was instrumental in this partnership. FedEx actually flew about 20 or so BBDO employees to their offices in Memphis for a FedEx-BBDO 20 year marriage party. That's cool. Give me a client relationship like that one.

Since I am a BBDO alumnus, I went up to him afterwards to mention how cool I thought it was that he gave a shout-out to his agency like that. He said, "You know, sometimes I am probably a difficult client, but at the end of the day we all do really good work.  They've (BBDO) done a lot for us and it's helped made us who we are."

Sounds like an agency-client relationship that keeps each other sharp. No push overs. No order takers. Just mutual respect and one shared goal of doping outstanding work.

Letter to FourSquare

Dear FourSquare - 

We don't need more geo-based status updates. "I'm at Ray's Rib Shack (Ocean Drive North, Florida).".

What we want is to be rewarded.  Rewarded for being frequent customers to any given place.  You can do this.  You have the technology.

But there's one problem.  The local businesses don't know about you.  More and more consumers are learning about you, but I'm afraid many of them may give up on you if more local businesses don't start getting in on the game.

If they only knew.  They could use your ability to recognize customers.  They could use you to serve up coupons for, dare I say, the MAYOR and the countless number of people on a quest to oust that frequent purveyor of services! Holy loyalty programs.  What if the restaurant across the street actually knew that everyone from our office has connected to their FourSquare location?  He could serve us coupons to eat there one more day of the week than we already do.  He could offer us happy hour specials only available for FourSquare members. We'd become like family. We'd be there every day and sing songs over pints about how much we love that establishment. Ha! An insider track to receiving good deals.  I'm so sneaky and clever.  We'll probably be offered shares of the business.  Perhaps I'll change the name of the place to Steve's Place.

But no. This is not happening.  Everywhere I go I check in with FourSquare just in case they want to know me.  But they can't because they don't know you.  Please tell them who you are so the many local businesses can begin to know us - their customers.

I've just unlocked the "I've got nothing to do with my FourSquare check-ins Badge".



Twitter - @sschandler