Simplifying a Startup’s Complex Story

SmartMail was a different kind of shipping company—delivering mail and parcels without owning trucks or planes. Instead, the startup relied on partnerships with postal authorities. The venture was so successful that SmartMail was ultimately acquired by Deutsche Post to become part of DHL Global Mail.

The Challenge

SmartMail was a small company with big aspirations. Because of its early success and scalable model, the company attracted a large VC investment. At that point, SmartMail developed an aggressive sales and marketing plan to support its projected growth. SmartMail engaged SPINE to reach a diverse target audience including retailers, academic institutions, government agencies and other high-volume shippers and mailers. The challenge was convincing them to trust a startup with no physical fleet to deliver business-critical information, customer orders, and marketing materials.

Additional challenges arose as the company made acquisitions to grow its offering. We needed to explain the expanded suite of services and how they all fit together.

Corporate Identity

We inherited the SmartMail logo and then developed the brand. The look and feel was smart and sophisticated, suggesting a more technologically advanced solution. After a series of acquisitions, we developed the tagline “Where it all comes together,” reflecting SmartMail’s expanded service offering as well as its model of commingling mail and parcels to gain postage discounts.



“How can they deliver quickly and reliably at such low rates?”

The SmartMail solution was a relatively new concept. We needed to simplify the story to help people understand it—and build trust in an industry where reliability is everything. SPINE began by establishing a comprehensive knowledge base. We then developed messaging and graphical elements that clarified SmartMail’s value proposition. Over time, our work expanded to include a complete literature system, advertising, targeted direct mail campaigns, and other initiatives.

“How can they deliver quickly and reliably at such low rates?”