Creative Logistics

The logistics industry is not the first thing that springs to mind when a creative is searching for their position in the workplace. Towards the end of a creative’s university career, the general discussion is usually lead by: “Which agency do you want to work for?”. Creativity, however, is needed in almost all fields within the business world and companies may find it easier to have an in-house creative to handle more urgent matters rather than constantly referring to an agency. A creative knows how to target an audience and has been trained to be able to target the right audience, with the right tone, to maximize interaction with consumers and get a positive response. Having a creative on hand, who lives and breathes your brand, may be one of the better things that you can do to improve or maintain your company’s image.

Picup is a last-mile logistics and technology company which is striving towards a world with minimal waiting times for customers to receive their orders and minimised costs amounted from the last-mile of the logistical process. Every employee at Picup is striving for the same thing: to grow the company to a large-scale business in which it becomes the leading logistics and technology company in South Africa, Africa and possibly even the world.

Starting at Picup Technologies may seem like an unusual field for a creative individual to go into. As mentioned previously, most creatives go into advertising agencies or they do freelance work, not logistics. Being a creative copywriter, I never saw myself working in the logistics industry either, but the way that Picup works is a little different and more interesting than traditional courier companies. Picup caught my attention due to the “people’s brand” approach which they had, as well as the fact that they replied to my request for further information within two minutes. I always appreciate fast replies, and, based on Picup’s nature of faster delivery times, it showed that they carried out their brand values through all aspects of the business. Four days after my first interview, I started as a creative strategist in the logistics industry.

Having been in this position for 6 months now, there are a few things I can say about being a creative strategist in the logistics industry and for Picup in particular.

Firstly, creating content that makes a last-mile logistics and technology company sound “cool” is much harder than one might think. The fact is, the general public don’t really follow logistics incredibly closely. They just expect to place an order and get their parcel as soon as possible. But the thing is, Picup isn’t just targeting the general public. This audience is included in the services which are offered and it was where the company started, but experience has shown that a better target audience for this type of business is business owners. (Of course right? They’re the ones that are going to need to distribute their products to consumers). The thing that I feel a lot of people often forget, however, is that targeting a business owner is still targeting someone who likes visually appealing work. I have often seen work which looks bland and is packed with text. It’s as if you tell someone that the target audience is business owners and they create work that looks as if they are writing code, on a blank screen, to create some kind of advanced AI. Digitalisation is currently driving the transformation of the logistics industry and innovation is the leading factor of who will come out on top. The timing is perfect for creatives to jump on this, create good, compelling work, and help to drive their chosen brand to the top of the industry.

Creating an attractive design element for Picup was not too difficult. The fact that they have that “people’s brand” approach which I mentioned earlier, means they took the time and effort to make sure the brand’s imagery was designed well already. The changes in the design of the brand came with the new Enterprise Solution being released in beta. The company has started to see a shift from slightly relaxed stylised imagery to more of a modern, pristine look. And I feel the new style that the brand is quickly evolving to is a good fit for a company which promotes the fact that it has advanced technology.

Secondly, I’m not entirely sure what the office environment of the traditional logistics company is like (I picture a lot of grey and off-white, with paper and boxes scattered everywhere); but the Picup office is definitely not that. A few of us try to make sure that, when you walk into the office, it is an environment which is both visually appealing and fun to be in. It is open-plan, there is almost always music playing, there are plants everywhere, we often add stuff or move stuff around to improve the look even more, and, as you walk in the door, it says “GOOD VIBES” in AstroTurf on the wall. I even covered the top of my desk in AstroTurf so it looks as if I am sitting with my laptop on grass. All-round, it is not a boring environment. Even the building is interesting. The Old Castle Brewery in Woodstock is both historical and, arguably even better, has this tower with an incredible spiral staircase that makes you feel as if you are climbing to tame some giant Game of Thrones kind of dragon and rescue some helpless person who is trapped, with no way of sneaking out for some unexplained reason (even while the dragon sleeps).

Okay, enough about the scenery and back to the actual business side of things. Watching Picup change the way that big businesses handle their logistics is truly an interesting and exciting experience. The fact that our technology has showcased itself, so much so that big companies have decided to move away from their legacy systems and use our platform instead, spells good things for the future and shows exactly how Picup can improve any business’ last-mile issues. Changes in the business world are constant, especially when it comes to getting things done faster. The technology which Picup has created and our new Enterprise Solution are both positioned perfectly and have been built at the perfect time to appeal to anyone wanting to get their products out fast and efficiently, to meet the needs of the current on-demand consumer.

Overall, my journey with Picup so far has been an exciting one. It is really inspiring to watch the growth of the brand, the company, and my own skills as the creative strategist. I can’t wait to see what the future holds as we continue to scale, inspire new clients to move to the world of on-demand delivery and expand to other parts of the country and the continent.