Sure, Posti is 400 years old, but does it have to sound like it? Of course not! Posti’s brand refresh is aimed at finding a more approachable way to be part of our changing world and the daily life of Posti’s customers.
“Our tone of voice has made us distant and faceless. We want to be approachable and make it easy for people to converse with us,” says Kaisa Ilola, Head of Customer Experience and Channels.
People in Finland come across Posti’s refreshed brand on a daily basis in various contexts, including hundreds of thousands of notices of arrival, which are no longer stiff and formal thanks to the work done by Posti’s four-person copy team.
How to Tackle a Giant Workload?
When there’s a job to do, you’d better get to it! There was a tremendous amount of work to be done, but there was also tremendous enthusiasm among the team tasked with refreshing the tone of voice of Posti’s 400-year-old brand.
“It’s great that the tone of voice was given such an important role in Posti’s new brand identity,” says Heidi Farén, the leader of the copy team.
The project began with a review of all areas of the Posti Group. We listed all of our customer interface materials and ranked them by importance.
“That step took a lot of work from a lot of people in Posti’s various units. Thank you so much for that, friends ❤,” Heidi says.
Rewriting the Notices of Arrival Familiar to Many Finns
Once all the material had been listed, it was time for the copywriters to get going. The team is agile in its work, changing direction quickly as needed.
First, the team identified the core attributes of the tone of voice received from the advertising agency. The team really had to think about how to make the key elements of friendliness, creativity, transparency and courage shine through every piece of copy in a concrete way – how to really adopt the high-level guidelines from the advertising agency. After all, there are many kinds of copy, and the tone of voice must come across in both digital and print, for both consumers and large corporations.
When the foundations had been laid, the team rolled up its sleeves and got to work on the project. At the same time, it was important to also keep an eye on things like text structure, the customer path and links.
“This was a good opportunity to improve on areas such as customer service as well. Many of the old texts featured instructions such as find out more at posti.fi. That’s not enough! We need direct links to take the reader to the content they want to see,” Heidi Nuutinen from the copy team points out.
When the new tone of voice began to take concrete form, it became necessary to introduce it to everyone at Posti. After all, the brand refresh covers all of Posti’s communications, from press releases to social media comments. With this in mind, the new tone of voice is not a declaration carved in stone. Instead, it adapts to each situation and writer. But a warm tone of voice is something that should be consistent across all copy.
“Of course, you need situational awareness. An informal tone suits certain contexts, while a more formal tone works better in others,” Kaisa explains.
Small Team, Tight Schedule and Collective Enthusiasm
The texts in need of rewriting included Posti’s notices of arrival, the OmaPosti service, web pages and various business and customer service materials. The team lead is graphic designer and copywriter Heidi Farén, who was already familiar with the services and units to start with.
“This has been one of the most exciting projects of my entire career at Posti! We’ve worked on many texts that were previously written in a style that is unnecessarily lengthy and difficult,” Heidi Farén says.
“It was a great opportunity to get to work on texts that nearly everyone in Finland will come across. I couldn’t have even dreamed of such a cool project! What made things even better was the fact that we worked with our colleagues on updating the visual appearance of Posti’s outlets and parcel lockers at full tilt. Posti’s new fun characters came to life in the new designs with the help of the new copy we wrote,” Heidi recalls.
“I joined Posti a year ago and I could never have guessed that I’d have the chance to be part of such a significant and inspiring project just six months later. At times, we’ve really had fun writing copy in a casual tone of voice. At other times, it’s been more like producing translations from corporate jargon to Finnish. Refreshing Posti’s tone of voice has been fantastic and – above all – necessary,” Heidi N. adds.
Can We Really Shorten These Texts by Half? Yes, We Can!
Discovering Posti’s new tone of voice was a rewarding journey that created an understanding of the importance of teamwork and collective development. The initial versions of the texts were written individually, but they were then gradually improved on in team meetings to find better ways of saying things. They realized that Posti’s people are agile. The corporation itself doesn’t know how to do anything. It’s the people who do things, and we have so many great people here!
“If you got stuck with a piece of copy, you could simply call someone. Sometimes you’d call another member of the copy team, at other times you had to get in touch with an expert on the text’s subject matter. A brand refresh project of this magnitude also requires excellent management skills within the team and in the organization as a whole. As the soul of the team, Heidi Farén deserves a lot of credit for that,” Heidi N. says.
“I want to thank the copy team for their strong performance! You’ve done a fine job under incredible pressure,” Heidi F. adds.
Did the Job get Finished on Time?
Yes, it did! Or, in another sense, it didn’t. After all, this is a shared journey of direct and open communication, and we’ve only completed the first leg. At one point, we had to hit the brakes and change lanes, but we didn’t let that get to us. We’ve received feedback and used it to refine the new tone of voice further. Kaisa puts it best in her blog.
“Changes always evoke an emotional response, both positive and negative. At Posti, we have a long tradition and we will listen closely to our customers throughout this process of change. Everyone might not like these changes, but we stand behind what we do because we believe that we can work together to make Posti more approachable.
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