Mission to Save the Post Office

June 22, 2015
Author: Judy Wolf

America's Toughest Turnaround: Megan Brennan's Mission To Save The Postal Service 


In the spacious corner office on the 10th floor of the U.S. Postal Service headquarters in Washington, D.C. hangs a framed portrait of Benjamin Franklin, America’s first Postmaster General. His eyes appear to be fixed on the woman behind the desk, the first woman to occupy the office in 240 years.

But if you think Brennan sees herself as captain of The Titanic, think again…..

New Partners In “Coopetition”

There are also partnerships that may surprise you. Of the four billion packages delivered by the Postal Service last year, 470 million of them came from FedEx and UPS, which are competitors and business partners. In an unusual arrangement Brennan calls “competition,” the Postal Service delivers these parcels “the last mile” to their destination and FedEx and UPS transport Postal Service products on their planes.

An Experiential App to the Rescue

But catalogs and other old-fashioned forms of direct mail, she says, must be more compelling in the digital age.

Enter “Augmented Reality” or AR, which allows consumers to download the Postal Service AR app, point their smartphones toward a picture in a catalog or mailer and have it come to life. After a few false starts with her smartphone, the Postmaster General showed me a two-dimensional ice cream sundae transformed into a mouth-watering video with hot fudge poured over the ice cream followed by whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry. (In fairness, after I downloaded the app and pointed my phone toward a picture of a roller coaster, it triggered a hair-raising coaster video on my first attempt.)


This article was originally published on Forbes.com.