United Problem Solvers: 5 Questions with UPS’s Doug Gibeaut


To reposition itself as more than just a package deliverer, UPS is rolling out a new United Problem Solvers campaign, which presents the company as a global supply chain specialist.

Of course, UPS has been promoting its brand for a long time, dating back to its 2002 “What Can Brown Do for You?” campaign. And in 2010, its “We [Heart] Logistics” global campaign demonstrated it could help just about any customer bust through supply-chain challenges around the world.

“It’s very hard to get people to think differently about UPS,” Alda Abbracciamento, worldwide managing director at UPS ad agency Ogilvy & Mather, told the Wall Street Journal. “While very well known, we’ve got to provide additional meaning to that.”[more]

Cue UPS’s just-launched campaign includes a new microsite with customer success case studies, TV spots, print advertising and, of course, social elements. The campaign will launch during March Madness in part because UPS is the official logistics provider for the NCAA, and the audience demographics are a good fit, Ad Age noted.

In one video, the senior global supply-chain manager for EndoChoice, which has a new technology for dealing with colon polyps, is interviewed about how United Problem Solvers is helping the company. “We could not do what we are doing without UPS,” EndoChoice’s Leigh Davis said.

In another video, Veeral Rathod, founder of fast-growing custom shirt-maker J. Hilburn, touts how UPS provides transparency in the startup’s supply chain, which is crucial for ensuring accurate, timely residential deliveries.

A third spot shows how UPS helped create a custom logistics plan for Artaic, a specialty mosaics company.

brandchannel asked Doug Gibeaut, the brand’s director of advertising and relationship marketing, more about what United Problem Solvers can do for UPS.

bc: What’s your marketplace opportunity if your new campaign can help persuade businesses to look at UPS more holistically?

Gibeaut: UPS currently moves six percent of US GDP and two percent of worldwide GDP by serving small, medium and enterprise companies. But we do much more than transport products. UPS offers highly specialized services that provide our customers with competitive advantages.

Collaborating with current and new customers to improve their efficiency, quality control, speed to market, cash flow and profitability is a significant opportunity for both them and us.

bc: To what extent are small businesses a bigger target for you now than five years ago, and how does this campaign address that?

Gibeaut: UPS has always valued and built relationships with small businesses. That commitment has not changed. The United Problem Solvers campaign provides us with a platform to talk with small businesses about UPS services they can use, such as improving their customer service, expanding globally and enhancing their business processes.

bc: How do you overcome the obstacle of everyone thinking they already “know” UPS?

Gibeaut: Solving our customers’ problems is something UPS has always done, but we haven’t always talked about it that way in our marketing. The tone of the United Problem Solvers campaign is bolder than what we’ve used in the past and has a more invitational tone. “Bring us those things you’re not sure how to pull off and you’re even less sure who to ask.” It’s designed to help challenge the perception of what UPS offers and to help customers focus on the opportunities.

Depending on their business, that could include anything from supply chain planning, e-commerce transactions and returns management, to temperature-sensitive storage and transportation, international trade consulting, and insurance and financial services.

bc: How does this differ from the previous “We [Heart] Logistics” and “What Can Brown Do For You?” campaigns?

Gibeaut: Logistics is at the core of our business. United Problem Solvers answers the “What Can Brown Do For You?” question by sharing customer success stories across a number of industries.

One of the first things we do with a customer is ask questions and hold a white boarding session. We get to know the customer, its challenges and its goals. UPS develops a plan that’s tailored for that customer, bringing the full benefit of our industry expertise, technology and global transportation network.

bc: How will you determine if the campaign is successful?

Gibeaut: We do not disclose our measurement metrics.