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10 December 2014

Whistl hits the ground running (or wheeling)

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Whistl hits the ground running: a 'postie' on an AirWheel

Whistl (usually with a lower-case "w") is the new brand name of the UK-based operations of PostNL that were formerly known as TNT Post.

Following the separation of TNT Post from TNT Express in 2011, it was always intended that the postal business would adopt new branding by the end of 2014.

The company says the whistl name "reflects happy people" and describes a natural expression of exuberance. The orange colour of course provides a reminder of the strong TNT brand, though it is of a different shade.

In other markets PostNL has adopted different branding. In its native Netherlands it is still using the PostNL name, while in Germany its operations have been renamed Postcon, and in Italy Nexive.

Whistl claims to operate the UK’s biggest postal delivery service after Royal Mail. It is based in Marlow, and offers a UK-wide range of services including packet and parcel deliveries, doordrop media services and logistics.

It has a workforce of 3,000 delivery staff, which it resolutely calls "posties" – a term which, unlike "postman", avoids any hint of gender differentiation.

The company made a splash when it launched its new branding this autumn by revealing that "selected" delivery staff (numbers were not specified) had been issued with AirWheel devices for speeding up their rounds.

The AirWheel is an electric unicycle. It has been compared to a Segway, but is even more compact, having no handlebars – just a bogie with fold-away "pedals" or footrests on either side. You lean forward to go faster and backwards to slow down or stop.

The whistl rebranding project was overseen by Melanie Darvall, the company’s director of marketing and communications, while the new brand was developed by Sutcliffe Reynolds Fitzgerald of Leamington Spa.



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