Nothing is more important in marketing than understanding what customers really want. Or in the New Zealand Post case, understanding what your customers’ customers want.
A brave approach (or a bold move)
At 182 years old, New Zealand Post (NZP) has unrivalled awareness. Unfortunately, for many the brand remains firstly associated with envelopes, stamps, mailboxes, posties and letterboxes.
With online retail continuing to grow, NZP wanted to be seen firstly as the leading parcel courier delivery and logistics service. The critical audience is now online retailers. Retaining them, expanding the range and premium nature of the services they use and attracting new customers were all critical concerns.
The second challenge was adding value, rather than competing on price. As an industry leader, NZP needed to introduce new services and benefits, find ways to charge more and improve margins, raising the bar in a category that has traditionally succumbed to price-led strategies.
It was important for NZP to build a stronger brand with more positive emotional connections, to help drive both business objectives and market share and margin.
The primary brand marketing objective was to be the ‘Best Partners for Online Shopping’.
The initiative began with a new product and an in-depth understanding of both business customers (online retailers) and consumers (the customers’ customers).
To meet growing expectations, NZP developed ‘Express Tonight’. This product enabled online shoppers to purchase and receive their items the same day, with delivery in the evening.
For busy people in a hurry, or excited about getting their order as soon as possible, this offered four benefits:
Fast: I can get what I want delivered as quickly as possible
Convenience: I can receive deliveries in the evening when I’ll be home
Ease: I don’t need to go to a store to purchase the latest products, I can order online and receive them tonight
Visibility: I know when to expect my delivery, with estimated delivery time and tracking
The second factor in the initiative’s success came from exploring a new comms approach.
Choosing a delivery partner can be complicated, with many factors to consider. NZP’s B2B marketing programme involved numerous targeted messages, promoting various services and benefits.
The bold move worked. Consumers immediately began asking retailers for the service, business audience perceptions rapidly improved and, as a bonus, Express Tonight became NZP’s most successful new product launch in years.
Company: New Zealand Post
Marketing Initiative: Delivered Tonight!
Marketing Partners: David Thomason, FCB New Zealand, PHD
Judges’ Comments: “Great innovation in driving introduction of the service into market. Clever use of the consumer pull to drive demand and great strategy of partnering to test and refine the offer. Resulted in a compelling proposition and increase in demand.”
Finalists: Plumbing Plus, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare
This article was first published in 2021 December/January issue of NZ Marketing magazine.