Is Australia Post Suffering an Identity Crisis?

An open letter to Australia Post

Dear Australia Post,

Firstly, let me just say, you guys are providing a great service that magically teleports my packages from one corner of this wide brown land to another in a timely and efficient manner. As at the time of this post, it’s the silly season and you’ve put on extra staff to cope with all Christmas packages. I’ve been into 3 different Post Offices in the last 3 weeks and every time I’ve had a great customer experience.

Customer service wise, you guys rock.

But what is with your merchandising? Seriously?

When I walk into a Post Office, apart from the PO boxes out the front and the stamps at the counter, I’m not really sure what you’re trying to be. You’re kind of Office Works, come ABC shop, come kids games isle at Target.

I think I see what you’re trying to do. You’re catering to such a wide audience that you’re trying to appeal to everyone. You’ve got those Simpson’s walkie talkie’s at kid level – for when Mum’s are waiting to be served. You’ve got those book packages from seniors friendly authors for when the oldies are paying their bills. And then you’ve got the ink cartridges for the small business / home office types.

It’s like being in a slightly more expensive version of a $2 shop; there’s something for everyone but it feels like there’s incongruous product everywhere.

Are you suffering from an identity crisis?

Can I remind you who you are? You’re POSTAGE.

Be everything postage. Not postage plus all these other little knick knacks that confuse my brand perception of you.

Stock anything that helps me get a package from A to B, period. It’s still a pretty broad brief.

Respectfully,
Luke Moulton

  • http://www.shaynetilley.com Shayne Tilley

    Hey Luke,

    I believe, and I may be wrong, that Australia Post is one of the biggest retailers in australia, if not in revenue and foot traffic, in number of physical stores for sure.

    The catch here is I said retailer, not package teleportation service. Quite a while ago they started to re-invent themselves as something more value driven. Whilst I don’t dissagree with you, I have to cut them a bit of slack when it comes to merchandising consistency and product ranging.

    It’s easy for someone with no legacy to achieve modern standards, but you’re talking about a company with more physical locations than any other company in australia. I’m sure they have aspirations for exactly what you say, but I’d be more critical in 5 years than today.

    There a many more companys with much smaller footprints that do a worse job of this IMO, I’d be aiming the scope at them :)

    Cheers,

    Shayne

  • http://smallbusinessbigmarketing.com Luke

    I’m not doubting they have huge obstacles to over come. One of the bigger ones being that many (most?) post offices are independently run so consistency is difficult to achieve.

    Tatts has a similar issue with Newsagency owners – but at least they have a concise offering.

    All I’m suggesting is that Aus Post reduce the noise and focus on retailing one theme well.

  • http://www.theeteam.com.au Craig Reardon

    Thanks Luke
    Yes have to say Ive wondered that myself when visiting the local post office. But from a marketing perspective I wonder if its not actually great business. People are queuing (and believe me they do queue) so why not try selling them something while they are waiting?
    Given your rhetoric Im not sure that you will find the other news from them (that they have purchased payment gateway provider Securepay) so appetizing.
    I actually think it a positive move in that they can finally make some money from the very thing that has been taking money away – the internet.
    Cheers, Craig

  • http://smallbusinessbigmarketing.com Luke

    Thanks Craig. I was not aware that AusPost had acquired SecurePay – very interesting move. Their next acquisition (or development) should be a decent online shopping cart platform – then they’ll have the trifecta: Cart, Gateway, Postage.

    Then jump into bed with one of the big banks and provide an end-to-end e-commerce solution.

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