When the US Postal Service started getting rid of its antiquated, but popular stamp vending machines, it assured customers that they would be replaced by something much better. That something was the Automated Postal Center, a large kiosk style machine that includes a scale and a touchscreen for browsing and selecting options. Unfortunately, APCs have proven to be less than a resounding success. Some customers find them hard to figure out- and you can’t insert a few coins and get a stamp for your letter- they only accept credit cards, and they don’t sell single stamps. Most importantly, they’re expensive. As a result, the USPS has had to shift APCs from one location to another, trying to find locations where the big machines will pay for themselves.
So the postal service has come up with the perfect solution- rebranding! The USPS has become somewhat obsessive about the concept of “branding” in recent years, so it’s perhaps not a big surprise that when the agency asked its customers about APCs, it wasn’t to learn which features people wanted in a vending machine, but rather “what should we call it?”
The magical solution is the “Self-Service Ship and Mail Center”! It’s the same APC, but with a new color scheme (aka “branding”). According to the USPS News Link article reproduced below, “The new name is expected to create a newfound confidence in this self-service expanded shipping and mailing option that affords expanded access to postal products and services”.
The power of magical thinking!
In October, USPS will rebrand its familiar self-service kiosk with a new name. Formally called the Automated Postal Center (APC) the kiosk is now named the “Self-Service Ship and Mail Center.”
The new name is expected to create a newfound confidence in this self-service expanded shipping and mailing option that affords expanded access to postal products and services. Customers can shop at a time and location convenient to them.
Based on research and analysis, “Self-Service Ship and Mail Center” was selected by a large group of small business and residential customers as the name that best supports the kiosk and USPS brand.
Along with the new name, there also will be new signage that indicates the key products and services listed in the Postal Service’s new iconography. For customers who don’t understand or are unaware of the products and services available at these self-service kiosks, the iconography easily identifies them. And listing just the main services eliminates the visual clutter and nonessential information that might be confusing to customers.
All retail associates should educate their customers and promote the new Self-Service Ship and Mail Center. The new name, along with the revamped look, should persuade customers to use this shipping and mailing option as a quick and convenient way to conduct postal transactions.
Source: USPS NewsLink