The challenge

Develop a marketing launch strategy for DHLs new ‘over-the-counter’ service to increase brand awareness and increase market share in the consumer market for package delivery, all on a budget of 300k.

The outcome

A new ‘modular’ branding strategy for DHL and DHL Netherlands that communicates DHLs vision of being the greenest, most innovative and inspiring inventor in the package delivery market. To launch the new service we designed a marketing strategy that invites consumers to think along with DHL on how to become more innovative

A renewed brand strategy:

We believe the inspiring force of curiosity is sparked and stimulated through tangible experiences

DHL is a creatorReliable yet daring. Intelligent yet exciting. Confident yet imaginative.

For optimistic go-getters DHL provides a network that enables them to exchange materialised thoughts and ideas, beyond borders and digital networks, which enables them to spark and stimulate each others’ curiosity, which makes them feel inspired to create the future.

A new launch strategy:


Invite go-getters to think along with DHL to create the future, and inspire others in the process.

As part of their new service DHL will start offering boxes at DHL Drop-Off Points. This new box will play a central role in the campaign “#BeyondTheBox”. On the box, we explain how the cardboard box is a less than ideal solution (for the environment), and we invite customers to write down their own ideas on the box. We invite customers to share pictures of their ideas on a specially designed website. Young creative people are targeted on social with a video specially designed for Facebook. The video is designed to trigger their curiosity and click through to DHLs #BeyondTheBox website.

The campaign is launched at the Dutch Design Week 2017 and parallel to the social media campaign DHL advertises its new positioning with large posters in targeted areas around creative people.

The video

Young creative people are targeted on social with a video specially designed for Facebook. The video is designed to trigger their curiosity and click through to DHLs #BeyondTheBox website.

The box

The campaign

So to conclude, the #BeyondTheBox launch strategy makes use of DHL’s core strength of global presence and unshakable assets and turns it into a branding campaign that communicates DHL’s brand values of inventiveness, green, commitment and simplicity. innovation, sustainability and progress.  The launch strategy was initially called for to implement the new box DHL wants, but this box and all it stands for does not match the earlier mentioned core values of the company. #BeyondTheBox gives DHL the tools to correct this mismatch and turn the box itself into a brand communication tool.

Selectively targeting lead users (opinion shapers, future leaders, innovative youth, venturous explorers etc.) will help DHL to create brand ambassadors amongst the people that have a following of their own, both on social media and in reality. The campaign is designed to create attention that helps DHL communicate its message, present its identify and increase brand associations. In this way, the €300.000 spent on this campaign will generate both awareness of DHL’s core values as a brand and a solution to the issue of the box.

Simultaneously the #BeyondTheBox launch campaign will bring people to the parcel shop with their box, making them familiar with the location. Starting with an empty box that provides free shipment will spark creativity as to what you can send, making sending a parcel an inspiring experience instead of a commodity. It is impossible to quantify how many packages will be send as a result of this campaign. The focus of this project is therefor put on building brand associations and ‘helping’ consumers find their way to parcelshops.

Finally, DHL will be able to connect to the group of possible users that are hard to reach and unlikely to send packages; connecting with them gives DHL the opportunity to secure future users through a shared goal. These current opinion leaders will be the the corporate leaders of the future.

Because of the restrictions in budget this project has focussed on building a strategy based on what DHL current status. The strategy is designed to be easy to implement for DHL, yet to be flexible enough to be enlarged into larger campaigns. A conscious decision was made to design this campaign and not focus on redesigning the experience of stores, or expanding the network of DHL. Although this could improve the service we identified the lack of a known and understood identity as DHL’s core problem, and build our strategy accordingly.