How FedEx Earned Its Gen Y Wings - Event Marketer

How FedEx Earned Its Gen Y Wings – Event Marketer

How FedEx Earned Its Gen Y Wings

When it comes to brand name recognition, it’s tough to compete with the “verbs.” Like Google, the search engine that became so synonymous with surfing the web that the Oxford English Dictionary made the company’s name a bonafide verb in 2006.

Or Kleenex, that ubiquitous tissue brand that we all grab for when we have a cold. And of course the list goes on to include popular products like Xerox, Tivo, Saran Wrap, Frisbee, Q-Tip and Post-It notes, to name just a few. Thanks to a serendipitous confluence of timing, innovative offerings and a groundswell of mass adoption, these products and services have become eponymous with the entire genre they inhabit, going from a mere name on their label to a word used in everyday language.

Federal Express has enjoyed this kind of name recognition, too. As the first shipper to offer guaranteed express delivery beginning in the mid 1970’s, the FedEx brand name quickly became the verb of choice used to describe the act of sending a package overnight. Indeed, anyone with a few years under their belt in business has probably “FedExed” their share of “Xeroxes” to clients or colleagues over the years.

But even with an enviable level of name recognition and notoriety that most brands can only dream about, the brand in recent years has recognized that its verb status needs some care and feeding if it’s going to stay relevant to a younger generation, especially those prospective customers that Google, Facebook and Tweet on a regular basis, and are coming up through the ranks and into decision-making positions at a rapid pace.

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Jessica Heasley
Posted by Jessica Heasley

Jessica worked for more than 15 years in marketing and events before joining Event Marketer in 2007. She earned her master’s degree from t he Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and her bachelor’s from the University of Washington (go Huskies!). Her last gig before coming to Red 7 was at Psychology Today magazine. Her proudest professional accomplishments include fixing a branded 1972 VW bus accelerator pump on the side of a highway in South Carolina with a paper clip and some string the night before a 30-city college tour; convincing Dr. Laura that she wasn’t writing a piece about lusty event marketers having lurid affairs on the road (which she kind of was); and, while at an independent film dot-com called AtomFilms, using about fifty bucks worth of chocolate chip cookies and a couple gallons of milk to lure film festival attendees away from Steven Spielberg’s (now defunct) big budget “Pop! Multimedia” booth to her company’s tiny living room event space. Although she is a native of Seattle, she never once owned an umbrella or rain boots until she moved to Brooklyn, where she currently resides with her husband and daughter. She was born in Everett, WA, home of the pulp mill.
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