How Pitney Bowes is conveying a new identity for the digital age

Pitney Bowes' VP of brand strategy explains what went into a major redesign and how the company is communicating about its new identity.

Pitney Bowes' former logo (left) compared to the new one (right)
Pitney Bowes' former logo (left) compared to the new one (right)

Pitney Bowes, most known for its mail and document services business, unveiled a brand strategy and design on Wednesday to help redefine itself for the digital age. Brand strategy VP Greta Wilson told PRWeek the story behind the change and what it means for the company.

How did you decide on the new brand strategy and identity?
We spoke to more than 2,600 clients and prospects across the businesses and geographies we operate in, including the US, UK, Germany, Brazil, and Japan. We were trying to understand the level of awareness across businesses and the most important drivers of choice for different buyer types. We also wanted to know how clients perceive us compared to competitors.

Internally, we spent time with our leaders across the company. We initiated an online community blog with our employees, setting out to understand what was true to our core and heritage that we want to preserve. For the blog, we worked with leadership and HR teams to recruit 150 people across levels, functions, and geographies to participate. Questions were posted each day on the blog from March through May 2014.

The marriage of the internal and the external, plus looking at what competitors are doing, market trends, and what white space was there took us to a positioning statement that guided our identity.

This is only the third time Pitney Bowes has changed its image in its 95-year history. What message are you trying to get out there with this change?
One of the big reasons to do our branding is that buyers, prospects, and clients who work with us for one part of what we do aren’t aware of all that we do. For instance, we are most associated with our mail and document services business.

We are trying to shift perceptions from being seen as a company that’s about sending mail alone, which is still an important part of our business. But we do so much more and we are positioning ourselves as a company that powers billions of physical and digital transactions in the connected and borderless world of commerce. From a design and positioning standpoint, it is about building awareness that we are in both the physical and digital space.  

In our research, we found that although we serve a variety of buyers from operators and marketers to IT types and C-level execs, they all care about the same thing: That we are accurate, efficient, and able to get it right in this complex world. The main message we are trying to share is that we do this across all our businesses in a way that creates meaningful impact for our clients.

What tactics are you using to reflect your other capabilities?
We also launched a transformed website with enhanced content and improved user experience on Wednesday. This is a major touch point for existing clients and prospects and is designed to be clear about all that we do. We are also developing an advertising campaign, which will come out in Q2.

How did you introduce the brand identity?
Internally, we had kickoffs globally for different business units on Wednesday. We have been presenting the strategy and how we arrived at our positioning. We held 37 town halls around the world.

We have a video series running where we worked with strong performers in the company that we wanted to recognize and had them talk about how they deliver accuracy and precision within their roles. This is running on our Intranet.

We also have giveaway items for our employees. Every staffer will get a brand book two weeks from now, and we have an extensive amount of content and training set up on our Intranet for them in relation to the company’s changes.

Externally, we chose The Wall Street Journal to break the news.

How have you been promoting the change on social media?
We have more than 20 different handles on Twitter for our various products and business units, as well as Facebook and LinkedIn pages. We have been pushing out content on social media around the announcement with hashtag #PowerOfPrecision, inviting others to talk about their moments of precision that delivered impact.

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