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TNT Brand Communication

Why This BOOK?

Brand coherence and consistency With the rapid dissemination, sharing and access to information and messages brought about by the internet and globalisation, message coherence and consistency has become even more critical for world-wide brands like TNT. Strong global brands are coherent and consistent in the way they position and project themselves – internally and externally – across the many markets in which they operate. Coherence is about how the brand creates meaning for – and makes sense to – our external stakeholders, in such a way that they clearly understand what TNT stands for and is able to offer them.

Internal demand Consistency is about brand alignment: making sure brand coherence is sustained over time and implemented in the same spirit whatever the geographic location, so that external stakeholders quickly recognise and respond to the unique ‘voice’ of the brand speaking to them… and will do so again and again in all interaction with TNT. This Brand Communication Handbook has been created so that the TNT global community can achieve coherence and consistency in the way we position, communicate and express the TNT brand.

The Brand Communication Handbook is as much a response to internal demand as it is to meet the need for brand coherence and consistency. After Orange on the Inside was published in early 2006, many TNT people asked for the ideas it conveyed about aspects of the TNT brand to be converted into practical communication guidelines. (For a pdf version of Orange on the Inside, visit aboutus/presentations/index.asp). The purpose of the handbook book is to: • c reate a clear understanding of how we can make our core brand coherent for external stakeholders and apply it consistently; • p  rovide guidance on how we can translate the TNT brand essence into a consistent brand expression – which means how we position, communicate and ‘live’ our brand through words, imagery and behaviours;

Strong global brands are coherent and consistent in the way they position and project themselves – internally and externally

• d  efine some of the outcomes that we want in terms of the desired customer response and experience when they come into contact with the TNT brand.






Foundation: Brand Essence

1.1 Brand impressions


2.1 TNT brand essence


1.2 Brand positioning: global, service and product


2.2 Identity, personality, values


1.3 Global brand positioning model


2.3 Brand promise




Practice: Brand Expression

Results: Brand Experience

3.1 Verbal identity


4.1 Customer journey touchpoints


3.2 Visual imagery


3.3 The TNT advertising/design brief

4.2  Feelings, image, associations, attitude



3.4 Behavioural identity


4.3 Touchpoints and customer experience summary




1.1 Brand impressions Impressions matter

Consistent but different

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”, as the saying goes.

We need to be consistent in every aspect of our communication if we’re to avoid confusing customers or misleading them. When we make claims about TNT in our marketing communication, they should be reflected accurately in the attitude, knowledge and behaviours of our people who deal every day with those very same customers. A disconnect between TNT marketing communication and behaviours leads to disappointment for customers – we would have failed them at the ‘moment of truth’ and their expectations will remain unmet.

At TNT we make millions of impressions every day, either through our employee behaviours or our marketing communication. Each impression has an impact on our business. No matter what we say or do (or sometimes don’t say or do) we’re communicating something about ourselves to our customers, leaving impressions, evoking in them certain feelings and attitudes, and creating expectations. This is our brand communication. It is integral to the relationship we develop with customers. In a service business such as ours, the quality of the brand relationship we build with them relies heavily upon the way we express ourselves in visual and verbal communication and employee behaviours.

We also need to transmit to customers authentic and compelling ideas about what makes the TNT brand different and why the

difference adds value when choosing and using our services and products. TNT’s brand differentiation originates from its brand essence and brand expression. As the name suggests, TNT Brand Communication: The Essentials is a short reference guide that covers the fundamental elements to be used in our brand communication around the world, as well as within our own organisation. The Essentials is designed to be read quickly. If you want more detail and depth about the subjects covered here, then refer to The TNT Brand Communication Handbook (downloadable at on the Brandweb.

A disconnect between TNT marketing communication and behaviours leads to disappointment for customers 6

1.2 Brand positioning: global, service and product Positioning Integration

Global brand positioning consists of TNT’s brand essence, brand expression and brand experience. These three elements form the core of the TNT brand. While the TNT brand expression and brand experience may evidence slight variations from market to market, our brand essence is common to the entire organisation. Our global brand positioning is an ‘orange thread’ binding the TNT brand together across markets. It also serves as the basic building block – the core – for the service and product positioning developed by divisional head offices (DHOs) and business units.

Positioning integration encourages flexibility in the development of service and product communication relevant to local and/or regional markets while promoting brand coherence. Whether developing a divisional service or product positioning or a local marketing campaign, by including the global brand positioning within briefings to external agencies we’re better able to achieve brand consistency and greater brand impact.

Marketing Communication Product Positioning Service Positioning


Positioning integration – of global and local brand-related messages – has complementary benefits: it supports the strategic positioning of the global brand as well as the tactical requirements of divisions and business units.

Positioning integration encourages flexibility in the development of service and product communication 7

1.3 Global brand positioning model ‘Triple-E’ framework The framework simplifies our brand positioning approach:

‘Triple-E’ is is a framework of three elements that make up our global positioning: Essence, Expression and Experience.

1. Brand Essence: the essential meaning of the brand and the combination of elements (identity, personality and values) that make the essence unique;

Brand positioning: ‘Triple-E’

Applying all three ‘E’ features to our marketing communication enables us to convey to customers four key attributes: uniqueness, differentiation, authenticity and appeal.

2. Brand Expression: how we translate the brand essence (meaning and uniqueness) into everyday communications and behaviour;


3. Brand Experience: what we want our external stakeholders – primarily our customers – to think, feel and believe about TNT in response to our communications and behaviour.

TNT Identity, Personality, Values

Unique • Differentiated • Authentic • Appealing

3 EXPERIENCE Emotional & Rational Response


EXPRESSION Essence made tangible Behaviours & Communication


Foundation: Brand Essence


2.1 TNT brand essence Intangible elements

3. Values: what we believe in



2. Personality: how we see ourselves

T Y re


1. Identity: who we are


Essence is sometimes used interchangeably with ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’: an inner truth that animates our thinking and how we do our jobs.



PE w


These elements underlay the way we communicate to, and interact with, our customers. Knowing what our brand essence consists of regulates and guides TNT marketing communication and employee behaviours.



The TNT brand essence integrates three intangible elements:

IT Y NAL SO see ourselves

Brand essence refers to the true, essential nature of our brand.



at w e b elieve in

Essence... an inner truth that animates our thinking and how we do our jobs 10

2.2 Identity, personality, values Identity: Who we are TNT’s identity is made up of many different influences that have evolved through the years – geography, history, industry category, organisation, services, management and people. All of these influences converge to makes us ‘who we are’.

They are implicit attributes of our brand and sometimes can be taken for granted, but they define our essential characteristics. They are described below.

• Geographic origins formerly Dutch and Australian, but which has evolved into a European and global identity; • Historical legacy 200 years of experience in the postal industry, and 60 years in the express industry; • Core competence global delivery networks – distributing goods and information through express and mail services and products; • Mindset a ‘glocal’ way of thinking, understanding the business needs of individual markets within a global business context; • Ownership a private sector, stock exchange-listed holding company striving to deliver shareholder value; • Structure a decentralised, flat, open structure centred upon the performance of locally-managed country business units; • Management style empowering and supportive, one that encourages front-line decision-making with clear responsibilities; • Operating an emphasis on cross-functional processes to leverage operating efficiencies and imperative maximise productivity; • Accountability delivering value to shareholders and using key competencies to support societal and environmental sustainability; • Visual identity symbolised by the colour orange and three spheres that encircle the TNT name.


Personality: How we see ourselves

Our brand personality is how we consciously see ourselves – and just as important, how we want others to see us. By understanding our personality we can better explain and describe our behaviours, thoughts and attitudes.

For this reason the TNT personality should always be implicitly or explicitly conveyed in our marketing communication in order to faithfully reflect the customer’s actual brand experience; our personality can also be leveraged as a powerful brand differentiator if integrated into our communication messages.

Because personality traits are manifested in our every day behaviours, they affect the image our stakeholders have of our brand.

By understanding our personality we can better explain and describe our behaviours, thoughts and attitudes 12

The TNT brand personality map shows all of the traits clustered around ‘Can-do’, ‘In-Touch’ and ‘Ordinary People’ that define TNT behaviours and attitude.

Will to succeed

Extraordinary results

Going the extra mile


TNT Brand Personality Traits


Passionate Action oriented


Working together

Taking it personally


young at heart

Ordinary People






Down to earth







Knowing limitations



working together


Ordinary People

we are wholesome, honest people who get on with working and enjoying life

• Down-to-earth we’re straightforward, transparent people, seeking practical solutions, not theories; • No-nonsense we just get on with the job in-hand, speak our mind and are always willing to accept challenges if ‘do-able’; • Hardworking we’re driven by the need to get results in a 24/7 business and motivated to exceed expectations; • Realistic we know what’s possible, and what isn’t, so we never over-promise; we make sound decisions based on experience and intuition; • Know limitations we recognise and understand both external and personal constraints; we have the maturity to know what’s achievable and what’s not; • Modest we attribute success to teamwork, not personal effort; we’re secure enough to praise others, and seek help from colleagues when it’s needed to get a job done.



we reach out and connect with colleagues, customers and society to be closer to, and understand, them

in-touch • Nearby we’re near enough to respond quickly to customer needs and tuned-in to the local business culture; • Global as experts in international network distribution we take a global view of business; we’re never far away from a customer’s overseas customer; • Responsive with a global and local presence, we rapidly sense and respond to business needs; our flexibility and pragmatism heightens our responsiveness; • Energy we have huge reserves of mental and physical energy; it drives us to overcome obstacles and gives us the momentum to achieve our objectives; • Young at heart TNT is made up of many age groups with an attitude receptive to new ideas and adaptive to change; we combine maturity with a youthful curiosity in how to improve our business; • Warm we have a passion for people, a natural warmth and generosity of spirit, making us supportive and friendly.



 e are energised, motivated w and determined, which enables us to deliver extraordinary results.

can-do • Reliable our people never knowingly let other people down; they take great care to meet all stakeholder expectations; • Caring we care about what we do, how we do it and for whom we do it, which includes every one of our stakeholders; • Working together we meet our service promises and exceed expectations because of our team spirit and collaboration; • Action-oriented as a 24/7 business, we take control of situations and proactively manage them; we are decisive and agile; • Committed TNT people take ownership of issues, we give our uncompromising personal commitment to the job to be done; • Will to succeed we are competitive people and don’t like to fail; we use our energy and determination to overcome obstacles; • Determined when the going gets tough we adopt an unwavering, single-minded, focused approach to achieving our end goal; • Passionate we are enthusiastic about our business, work and society; we have a deep-seated desire to promote our beliefs and principles; • Going the extra mile

 e go beyond the call of duty; we make sacrifices and extra effort to achieve w results; we do whatever it takes in line with our values to succeed in our goals.

• Taking it we personally seek to own stakeholder problems as if they were our own; we invest some part of ourselves as individuals in finding solutions; we personally promise ourselves to fulfil the promises made to customers.


Values: What we believe in

TNT values are deeply-held beliefs about how our brand has to think and act if it is to be successful. In TNT language, values are called standards. They prescribe principles that guide employee thinking and behaviours. Standards nurture existing individual integrity because they require

employees to question of themselves a particular decision or course of action. Values as standards help to protect TNT’s corporate reputation; as a consequence, they enhance our brand image by encouraging customers to think well of the employees who represent the TNT brand.

• S  atisfy customers every time

for TNT, customer satisfaction in every transaction is the minimum our employees aim to achieve; our desired objective is to exceed expectations whenever we can.

• C  hallenge and improve

challenging ourselves requires that we ask probing, often tough questions of ourselves, colleagues and processes in an ongoing search to improve the way we conduct our business, and if possible, to improve through innovation.

• P  assionate about people

as passionate people ourselves, we’re naturally passionate about our stakeholders too. Our passion is based on mutual respect for others, and a genuine concern for their needs, interests and welfare.

• Act as a team

TNT is a network of people who depend on each other to move documents, goods and information around the world. Teamwork is a collaborative, people-dependent effort that continues night and day, transcending time zones, in order to satisfy customers.

• B  e honest, always

ethical decisions and behaviour reinforce and sustain our brand reputation in the world. Honesty promotes trust which, in turn, engenders stakeholder confidence in TNT. Honesty also means being true to one’s opinions and ideas and sharing them.

• W  ork for the world

global interdependence and sustainability means we have a duty to look beyond our own strictly commercial interests and become involved in helping resolve some of the world’s environmental and humanitarian problems by leveraging our professional competencies.



Our brand essence – identity, personality, values – is the intangible foundation of our relationships with customers and other stakeholders. Any constructive relationship contains an implicit promise about what each party expects from the other.

TNT’s brand promise draws upon the unique qualities inherent in our brand essence. Our promise is simple, straightforward and meaningful:

‘‘ordinary people delivering extraordinary results’’ This promise should always be used to help build our marketing communication messages. It can be either explicit or implicit within copy text. But it is not a tag line, pay-off or a strap-line, and shouldn’t appear as such in our communication.


Practice: Brand Expression


Our brand expression is the way we communicate our brand essence. Brand expression makes the intangible elements of identity, personality and values tangible whenever they are creatively interpreted by agency designers and copywriters. Our brand is also expressed behaviourally through the actions of employees. The brand expression consists of three areas: verbal identity, visual identity and brand behaviours. Visual and verbal identity must work in conjunction with the rules of TNT’s visual identity (logotype, symbols, typeface and corporate colours) which can be found at

3.1 Verbal identity Verbal identity consists of what we say about the brand and how we say it. It is the basis of an agency’s copy platform. • What we say...... the content or message.

• How we say it.... the adopted style and tone of voice.

Stories are powerful vehicles for conveying brand messages

Content and message


As a service brand, TNT is about people (our employees) applying the brand’s core competence (network delivery) to service other people (customers).

Stories are powerful vehicles for conveying brand messages in advertising and brochures. When stories concern people and are supported by images linked to the story, they activate and engage attention simply because stories transport readers into alternative environments with interesting characters. They also increase the chance that the message will be remembered.

Since we are a people-to-people business, our communication content and messages should be built around TNT employees and customers. Even when the objective of an advertisement or brochure is to promote a particular service or product, the people principle still holds true. TNT services and products are often enabled by internet, wireless technology or telecommunication (such as order placement, track and trace, proof of delivery, etc) but the pick-up and delivery is undertaken by people.

It is no different when relating stories about TNT people in our communications. Each story should highlight (a) some of our brand personality traits and (b) the benefits that those traits give to our customers as we perform our services. The benefits deriving from the traits must also be meaningful for customers (i.e. fulfil particular preferences, needs or expectations important to them). The combination of personality and benefits provide a story’s core meaning and this should be central to the story’s message and come through in both text and image. Thus a powerful TNT story communicates a core meaning that not only makes our brand expression distinctive but also strongly differentiates the TNT brand itself. By way of validation, a story’s core meaning and the way it has been expressed should be tested against the TNT brand promise to ensure that both come through clearly in advertising or brochure communication.


Localising messages

Stories themselves can be found in real-life TNT people and situations which exist in local TNT businesses and markets.

This allows for an infinite number and variety of stories centred on employees and/or customers which which may be used in promoting a particular service or product. The approach provides a three-fold advantage by:

1 encouraging local flexibility in communication messages; 2 promoting our global brand positioning; 3 imparting authenticity and realism to the TNT brand.


Tone of voice

Tone of voice is the writing style, nuance and ‘pitch’ that we use in copy to communicate our messages.

Whenever a customer reads a TNT advert or brochure, they imagine what it sounds like if the printed word was being spoken phonetically. Their mind processes words as if they were engaged in a two-way conversation. TNT’s tone of voice is conditioned by its brand personality:


TNT has complete faith in its ability to deliver “you can have implicit trust in us to do the right thing for you.”

Slightly assertive, proud, knowledgeable; but not: conceited, patronising, speaking down;


we treat our customers as we want to be treated “we value you as a person, not only your business.”

Polite, engaging, on equal terms; but not: deferential, timid, arrogant;


we go about our business in a warm and caring way “like you, we are decent, likeable, ordinary people who want a pleasant, stress-free business relationship.”

Warm, considerate, at ease; but not: impersonal, cold, distant.


we are practical-minded, unpretentious, clear communicators “you can clearly understand what we’re saying, so you always know what you can expect and get from us.”

Clear, simple, to-the-point; but not: complicated, too clever.


3.2 Visual imagery Role of imagery

When we mention ‘visual imagery’ in this section we have in mind photography rather than graphic illustration. Graphics have their use in special creative treatments, but that gives them a relatively limited shelf-life and appeal compared to photography, and less return on investment over the longer term. Images are indispensable (if not crucial) for our printed communication. They are the first element to grab a reader’s attention, arresting the eye at the start of the scanning process.

Imagery and copy text Pictures activate attention and emotion much faster than words; they tend to be remembered longer (and are easier to recall than written concepts); and they have a direct affect on attitudes toward the advert (in which they appear) or toward the brand itself. For these reasons the type of TNT visual imagery should be chosen carefully.

Visual image and copy together communicate the core message. The image must match the messages contained in the copy headline and sub-copy. The latter should make clear the brand’s value proposition. In this way we can be sure of brand meaning and relevance.

To convert reader attention into high involvement with the brand messages contained in an ad, TNT images must be able to convey meaning and relevance. To do this they have to work in synergy with the copy text.

TNT images must be able to convey meaning and relevance 26

TNT imagery: the use of people and personality traits

Imagery should reflect TNT’s brand positioning and brand promise. Both derive from people, whether they are employees (‘delivering extraordinary results’) or customers (experiencing the benefits that TNT people deliver). The use of TNT people in imagery brings the brand to life. Communication that features

people creates greater interest and curiosity. It is more likely to activate an emotional response. The combination of employee(s) and customer(s) also emphasises the brand relationship.

Images reflecting a series of TNT brand personality traits provide local marketing campaigns with variety and choice whilst ensuring our message is consistently ‘on-brand’.

By depicting TNT people images can also capture the brand’s many personality traits. A single image can convey one particular trait (e.g. ‘energy’ or ‘determination’ or ‘care’ or ‘going the extra mile’ etc).

Some examples are shown (on this page) to exemplify how character traits can be captured in photography.

Working together


Images capturing TNT personality traits. Refer to the TNT Personality Map to view all brand traits. Down-to-earth


Going the extra mile





Branding the imagery

A unique and consistent photographic style (‘treatment’) helps to create a specific ‘look, mood and feel’ to TNT imagery.

The use of TNT orange is an obvious starting point. Other treatments may include creative manipulation of lighting source, camera angle, perspective, colour, shapes, shadow and composition among others. A consistent style leads to a recognisable association between the TNT brand and the specific image style. Consistency helps the target reader to recognise the brand source of the advert (a distinct advantage in a world of information and image ‘clutter’).

Memorability, however, is usually created by repeated use over time in marketing communication; so frequent changes of image style can be counterproductive by weakening brand associations and brand recognition as well as increasing marketing costs. Continuity of image branding reinforces the TNT brand in the customer’s mind.

Continuity of image branding reinforces the TNT brand in the customer’s mind 29



Hardware and Abstract Images 1. Hardware Images

Hardware imagery has been used in TNT advertising for many years. It consists of inanimate objects, mainly TNT-branded aircraft, trucks, vans, bikes, buildings, signs etc.

In relation to ‘primary’ imagery (featuring people) that supports our brand positioning and promise, hardware is ‘secondary’ in that it portrays what are generic modes of operation (trucks, aircraft etc). Secondary imagery ought to be used sparingly. Sometimes it can be useful

in emerging markets where TNT hardware is perceived as a credentials statement validating company capabilities, financial assets and resources.


2. Abstract Images

Abstract imagery refers to the visual rendition of a concept or idea in a picture which does not resemble familiar physical objects, people or situations (it is something we don’t come across in everyday life).

Abstract imagery is best avoided. Even if a physical, actual person or object is used when representing an abstract idea, there is absolutely no guarantee that the abstract ideas will be interpreted by customers in the same way as TNT or a creative agency intended.


3.3 The TNT advertising/ design brief SUMMARY

This section provides a short summary of the communication principles discussed above which can be applied to the advertising and design briefings given to an external agency.

Keep in mind that key aspects of the visual and verbal identity need to be reflected in the copy platform. Use them to evaluate the creative debrief.

1. People

5. Brand Message

Stories and images should feature either real TNT employees or customers, or both at the same time to emphasise the brand relationship.

The brand message is clear (this starts with clarifying your communication objectives) and relates back to the core meaning.

2. Brand Promise

6. Tone of Voice

The idea of ‘ordinary people delivering extraordinary results’ should always support our brand positioning, implicitly or explicitly (but it is not to be used as a tag line, pay-off or a strapline).

The tone is confident, respectful, friendly and straightforward.

3. Personality Traits One or more brand personality traits should be clearly evident.

4. Core Meaning

7. Images Images should depict TNT employees and/or customers (i.e. people) rather than inanimate objects or abstract illustrations. Images themselves should be branded using a specific and unique photographic style indelibly associated with TNT.

The advertising contains a core meaning important to the customer and is integrated with the service and/or product positioning.


3.4 Behavioural identity Substantiating the brand promise

Behavioural identity is about the way we interact with our stakeholders and treat them: it is another aspect of the way we communicate as a brand and express what the brand stands for. It is all about brand behaviours.

TNT brand behaviours – the manner in which we conduct ourselves and act towards other people – should accurately reflect TNT’s core values and personality traits so that TNT is seen to ‘walk the talk’. This is because our behaviours leave lasting impressions in the minds of our stakeholders.

Customers especially experience TNT behaviours in their ‘journey’ with the brand. Front-line staff – drivers, customer service agents, sales executives – are influential brand touchpoints whose actions powerfully mould the customer experience in both emotional and rational ways (see Section 4).

Employee behaviours therefore make a significant contribution towards the creation of strong relationships between the TNT brand and its stakeholders. They substantiate our brand promise on a personal level. In this sense every TNT employee performs the role of a brand ambassador.

Brand behaviours apply equally to internal relationships among TNT colleagues, perhaps ‘active listening’, ‘respectful’ and ‘openness’ being some of the most important in terms of supporting TNT’s values/standards and effective teamwork.

Employee behaviours make a significant contribution towards the creation of strong relationships 35

TNT’s desired brand behaviours are shown in the chart on page 37 along with short descriptions that explain how they can be enacted by our people.

Personal integrity is at the centre of all TNT behaviours: it is the foundation of any sustainable, long-term stakeholder relationship and is based on mutual trust. Trust is built upon honesty and the ability to be truthful in our dealings with others. TNT’s corporate reputation is predicated upon these

essential qualities existing in our employee behaviours. The most crucial brand behaviours in terms of sustaining our corporate reputation are ‘accountable’ and ‘respectful’ since these relate strongly to aspects of corporate governance and social responsibility.

Note: expanded descriptions of the behavioural attributes can be found in the TNT Brand Communication Handbook on the Brandweb (


Be honest & truthful; Provide correct information & ideas; Act on values, ethical norms & personal conscience

Focus on fulfilling service expectations; Meet personal commitments; Practice good time management; Never over commit or over promise; Appeal for support.

Treat others as we expect to be treated; Never be rude or abrupt; Never patronise; Be positive & helpful; Practice common courtesies; Simple, friendly gestures; Thank people; Don’t tolerate prejudice or bigotry.


Adapt willingly & quickly to change; Accept changing priorities, work routines, assignments, job locations; Welcome opportunities to learn new skills; Bend rules when needed, but don’t break them.




Anticipate problems to head them off; Act rapidly with forethought; Be decisive in thought & action; Use initiative; Seek support; Never be passive, disinterested, unconcerned.






rp or at a te R e p ut t av io u ic a r al C o m m u n


Welcome ideas & opinions of others and let them know; Share & exchange expertise & thoughts; Point out problems early; Encourage openness in others; Avoid censure or value judgments.



INTEGRITY Accept responsibility for one’s own actions; Weigh up risks & impacts; Don’t cover up mistakes; Manage time before it manages you; Meet deadlines, always; Act responsibly towards your community, society and the world




Listen carefully to understand; Acknowledge ideas and assure of importance; Show interest & enthusiasm.

Simplify ideas, plans, solutions; Act on facts; Soundboard with colleagues; Focus on endresult; Avoid complexity when time-critical.


Results: Brand Experience


4.1 Customer journey touchpoints The customer experience

For as long as a customer uses TNT they will come into contact with many different TNT touchpoints involving TNT people, communication, technology and environment. This is the ‘journey’ customers take with the TNT brand.

Much of the time a customer response is unseen and unheard because it is unconsciously processed in their minds; occasionally the response results in actual, observable behaviour. We call both types of responses the ‘customer experience’. Our brand essence and brand expression are the front-end inputs into a service and communication process. Brand inputs are intended to help activate and then maintain a mutually beneficial business relationship, supporting a brand promise made real in TNT’s service delivery performance.

But brand outputs matter just as much. Outputs are about how customers experience the brand, shaping their attitudes, thoughts and behaviours toward TNT. They have lasting financial consequences for our company. Good or bad experiences strengthen or weaken customer brand preferences and their predisposition to purchase from us. The net result is that customer experience becomes a major driver of TNT brand equity.

Drivers Customer services Sales Account management Postal workers

Customer Journey & Experience Touch-points



Brochures Adverts Direct mail Exhibitions Vehicles/signs Press/media Word-of-mouth



Finance Admin Order entry Track & trace Digital: Internet, SMS, WAP, VOIP Analog: Letters/Invoices/Statements

E N V I RO N M E N T Post offices Sales offices Depot reception areas Airports


In general, customer experience is shaped by the touchpoints that they come into contact with during their TNT ‘journey’. Experience touchpoints are either direct (people and physical environments) or indirect (communication media and digital or analog access channels). Whether direct or indirect, all touchpoints transmit an impression of one kind or another about the TNT brand. Direct Touchpoints

Employee Behaviours (Drivers, Customer Service Agents, Sales Executives, Account Managers)


Indirect Touchpoints Telephone, sales visits, pick-up and delivery, order entry, queries, quotations

Communication Media

Brochures, adverts, direct mail, press/media reports, word-of-mouth, branded vehicles and signage

Post offices, sales offices, depot receptions, trade fair exhibition stands

Access Channels

Digital: internet website, SMS, WAP, VOIP Printed: letters, statements, invoices

(Finance, administration, order entry, track ‘n’ trace etc)

As one of the four touchpoints, marketing communication has a major effect on customer experience, which is why consistency and coherence in conveying TNT’s brand positioning and visual identity is essential. Not achieving either one of them results in customer confusion and makes it difficult for customers to recognise the TNT brand.


4.2 Feelings, image, associations and attitude TOUCHPOINT TRIGGERS

1. Feelings: these are conscious emotional sensations triggered when the TNT name is mentioned. The kind of feelings we want our customer to experience are:

Although experiences arise from interconnected and unseen neurological processes, we’ve simplified the customer experience into four areas: Brand feelings, Images, Associations and Attitudes. They are triggered by TNT touchpoints. • Cared for • Likeable • Peace of mind • Security • Self-confidence

• Cared for “I feel that TNT genuinely cares about my business because their people do whatever they can for me, my business and my customers.” • Likeable “They’re warm, down-to-earth and friendly people. They show respect to me as an individual.”


• Positive • Negative • Indifferent


• Peace of mind “TNT is reliable. They’ve been around a long time and know what they’re doing. They take away the uncertainty and worry.”


• Personality • Values • Relationship

• Security “My shipments are in safe, dependable hands. That is my comfort zone. They won’t let me down and will call me if there’s a problem.” • Self-Confidence


“ TNT’s track-record and reputation makes me confident that I’ve made the right decision. It reassures colleagues and bosses about the choice I’ve made”.

• Services • People • Behaviours • Social responsibility


2. Image: is less about individual mental pictures of trucks and planes, and more about the way customers think of TNT in holistic terms.

This applies especially to TNT’s brand personality and values. Both should conjure up in the minds of customers a composite image of a ‘can-do’ company with honest, responsive and committed people fully engaged with their customers and delivering extraordinary results every day.

Marketing communication (verbal and visual identity) plays an important part in developing this overall image through our brand and service positioning and the brand expression. Customers should be able to describe the TNT brand as if it were a living person with whom they have a relationship; and it should be validated through tactile experience each time a customer comes into contact with employee behaviours.


3. Brand Associations: are bundles of individual words, ideas and pictures associated with TNT and held deep in the unconscious memory. Mention of the TNT name activates (some, not all) of these associations and brings them to mind, in this way giving ‘meaning’ to the brand.

brand associations that are more likely to be absorbed, provided we:

A few examples of brand associations are shown below.

I. Identify and select specific brand elements we want to be associated with (using the guidelines for verbal, visual and behavioural identity);

An important point is that TNT’s repetition of words, ideas and pictures - through its visual, verbal and behaviourial identity - increases the chance of triggering the right memory associations.

The vast number and variety of brand associations held in a customer’s memory and the way they’re activated is not something TNT can control, although we can influence the type of

2. Use them consistently in our communication, so that successive communication reinforces specific associations and increases their likelihood of being recalled by customers when thinking about TNT.




TNT (as a name) Express Post Mail Branded service descriptors Branded product descriptors Delivery Europe Global Orange World Food Programme etc

TNT (as an idea) Delivery and operations networks Business and societal relationships Personality traits (all) Innovation Customer focus Passion for people Trust Speed, flexibility Technology (branded) Social responsibility Environmental protection Disaster relief response Good corporate governance etc

TNT logo (as a graphic symbol) Employees interacting with customers Customers interacting with TNT Branded vehicles Branded aircraft Branded packaging Branded hubs, depots, service points Liége airport operations Disaster relief operations etc


4. Attitude: is the degree to which customers have a favourable or unfavourable view about individual TNT brand characteristics. Attitudes fall into three broad categories – positive, negative, indifferent – and these are held by customers in varying degrees of strength.

Established attitudes are hard to shift. They tend to be durable. This raises the point that attitude shifts are heavily influenced by a TNT customer’s direct experience with the brand rather than by marketing communication; TNT’s behavioural identity (and service) is key to the formation of customer attitudes about the brand and changes in attitudinal strength and weakness.




4.3 Touchpoints and customer experience summary Touchpoint delivery The table below tries to show which touchpoints can impact the customer experience most. At a basic level, every touchpoint should give rise to a positive attitude. Without this, neither image, feeling nor associations matter very much for very long.

Generic Touchpoint

Communication Media


Customer experience

Access Channels


Specific Touchpoint Advertising Direct mail Sales materials Website Internet campaigns Customer service Drivers Sales executives Account management Administration Website Mobile telephony Print (bills/statements etc) Print (letters) Post offices Service points Reception areas Exhibition stands Hubs, depots, airports

The content of our brand positioning and brand expression should be consistent across all touchpoints. If our marketing communication says one thing, but our behaviours actually demonstrate something else, the brand loses credibility in the eyes of the customer. Cross-

functional teamwork to make sure the customer experience happens in a way that is consistent with our brand positioning and expression is the only way to guarantee that our communication – visual, verbal, behavioural – is consistent and coherent.

Customer Experience Feelings


Responsible for Delivery Associations


(will vary by business unit)

Marketing & sales Marketing & sales Marketing & sales Marketing & sales Marketing & sales Marketing & sales Operations Marketing & sales Sales & key accounts Finance & administration Marketing & sales Marketing & sales Finance & administration Finance & administration Marketing & sales Marketing & sales Marketing & sales Marketing & sales Operations



Managing the TNT brand The way TNT approaches brand management reflects how we choose to organise ourselves and run our global business. A centralised commandand-control organisation doesn’t fit with our culture; neither does micro-management of detail. Instead we prefer to empower local business units with operational decision-making, bringing TNT closer to the customer and making us a genuinely ‘near-by’ brand. Local empowerment has proven benefits: we’re able to keep the management structure as flat as possible, eliminating the downsides of hierarchy and bureaucracy; accordingly, our head office resource is kept relatively lean; and we put the onus of customer focus and care on country organisations, maximising market responsiveness and local understanding.

Not surprisingly a culture of local empowerment strongly influences the way we manage the brand. TNT head office is there to set the strategy, create the brand standards, provide the basic brand tools and offer advice when asked to do so. Thereafter, implementation of the brand using the same standards and tools relies upon TNT people within division head offices and country business units. In effect, the brand is locally managed through them as TNT brand custodians and communicators. This book has been written for all users of the TNT brand and its custodians. If you are one of them, always try to keep in mind that:

By applying the communication principles contained in this book, you can help make TNT a stronger, more coherent and consistent global brand.

Publisher TNT N.V. P.O. Box 13000 1100 KG Amsterdam The Netherlands T +31 20 500 6000 F +31 20 500 7000 Brand concepts, research & text Phil Mead

Visual concept, design & production coordination Mattmo concept | design Cover photography Kees Hummel Photography Frank van Beek Herman Wouters TNT Image Library

Lithography & printing Thieme Amsterdam Paper Oxford (BĂźhrmann-Ubbens) FSC certified paper

Š 2007 TNT N.V.

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