FedEx Corp. is making purple and orange the official colors of its far-flung network of planes, trucks and people.
Chairman Frederick Smith announced to employees Aug. 24 that the company would adopt the 43-year-old FedEx combination of purple and orange as its unified color scheme.
Over the next five years or so the company will scrap other colors — red, green, blue, platinum — that have been paired with purple to differentiate operating units including FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight and FedEx Office.
The simplified palette won't alter separation of Express, Ground and Freight into different operating units, although company officials acknowledged the public doesn't always distinguish among the units.
"We are certainly one brand to the world, and we're aware of that and proud of the fact that our brand is recognized as one of the most powerful brands in the world," said Patrick Fitzgerald, senior vice president, marketing and communications.
FedEx ranks No. 2 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.
Purple has always been the Memphis-based company's primary color and is firmly imbedded in corporate culture. The company mission, dubbed the Purple Promise, is that employees will make every FedEx experience outstanding.
FedEx began using secondary colors other than orange in the late 1990s after it diversified beyond the express business into trucking-only offerings.
Domestic parcel delivery company FedEx Ground's logo is purple and green, for example, while less-than-truckload company FedEx Freight is purple and red.
FedEx's research finds strong consumer awareness globally of its purple and orange logo, Fitzgerald said.
"It became more and more clear to us that there would be strength in going to the simplified visual identity," he said.
"It's clear when you look at the iconic FedEx Express packaging, the white box with purple and orange logo, it's 43 years of establishment, across the drop boxes and vehicles and aircraft. It's been built up over time, and it makes sense," Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald said the timing is right because this year's acquisition of Europe's TNT Express "provided us an opportunity to create a simpler global brand."
No immediate change is planned in the TNT Express brand, although Fitzgerald noted TNT's official color is FedEx orange