More on naming

Are you bored with the UPS "brown" campaign? It's basically terrible. It doesn't communicate UPS's strengths or value. What it's really about is that UPS is one company with one logo and color while FedEx is five companies with five colors in their respective logos. So "what can brown do for you?" really means "FedEx has many different services and we think you're too stupid to know which service to use."

Well, I wasn't confused... until I saw this Superbowl ad for FedEx. It's moderately funny but it troubles me: it seems to me that FedEx is responding to the UPS brown campaign by admitting that its division names and colors are indeed confusing to the consumer.

Instead of an ad campaign attempting to explain the products, FedEx should fix the product names so there's no confusion. Or better yet, ignore the technology entirely. Does the consumer care if the package goes by ground or by air? Should we care which service is used? Don't we basically want a package delivered in a certain timeframe regardless of method? I understand if FedEx wants to create some internal affinity for the separate business units employees but the external consumer shouldn't have to care.

By the way, did you ever notice the arrow in the white space between the 'e' and the 'x'? Once you've seen it, you can't not see it.

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.

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