The US Postal Service’s obsession with “branding” continues- the agency has announced that it will be dumping the Express Mail “brand”, replacing it with “Priority Mail Express”. While Express Mail was never a huge source of revenue for the USPS, it has been a small but steady financial contributor since the USPS introduced the overnight delivery concept on an experimental basis in 1970.
Since that time, however, technology has provided faster and cheaper methods of transmitting important documents, the mainstay of the overnight market. While some of the slack has been taken up by the delivery of online merchandise orders, the vast majority of those items are shipped by less expensive alternatives like Priority Mail. This has resulted in a shrinking overnight delivery market for the USPS and its rivals, FedEx and UPS.
The USPS, in what seems like a bit of wishful thinking, believes it can reinvigorate its overnight business through the magic of “branding”. Here’s what it told the PRC in a filing this week:
While Express Mail has long served as the Postal Service’s fastest mailing/shipping service, revenue and volume figures for this product have stagnated in recent years. In an effort to refresh the public’s awareness of Express Mail, the Postal Service decided to change the product’s name to Priority Mail Express. The name of Express Mail International is also being changed to Priority Mail Express International to preserve the current naming/packaging relationship between the products. It is hoped that these name changes will help reinvigorate Express Mail by leveraging the widespread recognition of, and positive associations with, the Priority Mail® brand.