Reinvigorating USPS for the digital age

Stephen Whiteside

Few brands have a history that extends back over two centuries, and an even smaller number can legitimately claim their target audience consists of every single household in America. The United States Postal Service (USPS) is one of them. Yet a uniquely proud heritage and long-standing role in the lives of consumers provided scant protection against the disruptive forces of the digital revolution, which represented perhaps the greatest threat to the organisation in more than 200 years.

"The Postal Service started business 238 years ago, and we continue to be a large and vibrant part of the US economy; we're about $65 billion in sales this year," Nagisa Manabe, evp/chief marketing and sales officer at USPS, told delegates at the 2013 Masters of Marketers conference, run by the Association of National Advertisers and held in Phoenix, Arizona. "Probably what you've been hearing about the US Postal Service, frankly, is quite a different message."

Financial headaches