UPS wants to cement itself as a small business partner

The logistics company's first made-in-Canada campaign aims to change the perception that it only serves big companies.

UPS is trying to show small businesses the value it can provide them with its first Canadian-made campaign, telling the stories of how it has worked with businesses across the country.

The new campaign, “Come Back Strong,” showcases several Canadian businesses that have managed to thrive during the pandemic through the hard work of their owners, mostly by pivoting to an ecommerce model with the assistance of UPS.

By telling those stories, the logistics and courier service is hoping to showcase its relevance to small business owners across the country, says Paul Gaspar, small business segment director for UPS.

“Everyone recognizes the name UPS. They recognize the shield and our iconic brown trucks and they recognize that we move goods,” he explains. “Our challenge is that people, when they recognize our brand, think we only empower the Fortune 500 organizations. But we have hundreds of small businesses that sign up weekly with us, and despite that, there are others that still question whether or not we’re even approachable.”

The pandemic has been a challenge for all businesses, but small businesses have been among those hit hardest by lockdowns and other safety measures. Those entrepreneurs who did shift to ecommerce, however, have been able to recover and even gain ground.

An array of those businesses are featured in the campaign, including Ottawa’s Dalcini, which sells stainless steel products; both skincare brand Ellie Bianca and apparel brand Local Laundry of Calgary; popcorn brand Eatable in Toronto; and family scheduling tool Easy Daysies from Maple Ridge, B.C.

Sharing their stories was key to the campaign, says Gaspar.

“We wanted to make sure that what we did was highlight what we can offer through their stories,” he says. “We could just come out and say we have brokerage and importing and fulfillment, but that message can get lost. We figured if we could show it through stories of their peers, we could help [small businesses] realize that we’re here to help.”

The campaign is running across TV and radio, along with digital banners, social media content and an online landing page. It will run through the summer, followed by another flight of advertising and digital content set to run in the fall, Gaspar says.

Argyle developed the creative and handled the PR for the campaign.