Last week, NPR’s Chief Shipping Correspondent Gerald Hopkins met with representatives from UPS and FedEx as part of NPR’s ongoing “Conversations in Shipping” series. They discussed the challenges and changes happening in shipping today.
NPR: Thanks for sitting down with me today, guys.
UPS: No problem, Gerald. Although, you realize that this would almost certainly never happen in real life.
FedEx: And I’m pretty sure NPR doesn’t have a “Chief Shipping Correspondent.” That’s a little too boring, even for NPR.
UPS: Really terrible idea for a humor article, if you ask me.
NPR: Thanks. I was actually hoping you guys could fight. Maybe use your respective company’s slogans as catchphrases or something?
FedEx: Stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.
UPS: Not going to happen. Your mother dropped you, huh?
NPR: No, my skull is just naturally shaped like that.
FedEx: Bet you were real popular in high school, NPR man.
NPR: Let’s start out by talking a little bit about shipping in today’s competitive market. How do your respective companies deal with the demands of a bad economy and increasing costs?
UPS: Well, Gerald, one of the biggest factors for is technology. We have invested aggressively in next-generation package tracking and route optimization, but we mostly just play Call of Duty. Keeps the workers happy.
FedEx: We find that online package tracking is an especially popular feature among our customers. It really fuels the neuroses of our OCD customer base.
FedEx: Yeah, not really.
NPR: Both of your companies have strong brand identities and unique marketing strategies. Can you talk a little about how you get your message across to the consumer?
UPS: Our brand management is simple: brown. We identify with a single color, and the customers respond to the unity. When you see a UPS truck, there’s no mistaking it. In fact, each one of our commercials asks, “What can brown do for you?” Some people might cleverly reappropriate our slogan to refer to feces, an Ivy League University, or tech support people, but we still think it’s very effective.
FedEx: We take a slightly different strategy. Our marketing is mainly centered around HOLY SHIT LOOK AT OUR LOGO THERE IS AN ARROW IN IT.
UPS: MY GOODNESS WHERE.
FedEx: IN BETWEEN THE E AND THE X.
UPS: MY MIND JUST EXPLODED.
FedEx: I CANNOT STOP LOOKING AT IT.
UPS: IT SUGGESTS A COMPANY THAT MOVES PACKAGES.
NPR: So, any closing thoughts? In the war between shipping giants, who’s winning?
UPS: The customers, Gerald. The customers. But really, UPS.
FedEx: Heh heh. What a kidder.
FedEx: More like UPSucks, am I right?
The FedEx representative leaps across the table with a single, fluid, cat-like motion and knocks UPS’s representative to the ground. Straddling UPS’s representative, the FedEx representative digs his thumbs into the other man’s eye sockets.
FedEx: WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU NOW, BITCH?
End of transcript.