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Note:  This is an excerpt from my latest book, Drive One Direction: How to Unleash the Accelerating Power of Alignment. In the One Brand chapter, we highlight companies who unleashed the accelerating power of alignment with an intense focus on their corporate brand. 

 UPS (NYSE: UPS) has 481,000 employees, 5,000 UPS Stores, 1,990 facilities, 123,000 delivery vehicles, 248 jet aircraft, and 316 chartered aircraft.

UPS unleashed the accelerating power of alignment with One Color.

UPS is enormous. But it all started with One Entrepreneur in One City with One Idea.

In 1907, James Casey founded the American Messenger Company in Seattle, Washington.

In 1919, the company expanded to serve the Oakland, California, market and changed its name to United Parcel Service. The change was to remind the company that operations were still united.

Even in 1919—One Century ago—alignment was critical to success!

The brown color used by UPS is called Pullman Brown. Legend has it that the brown color was chosen because it would make it easier to keep their trucks clean.

Amazingly, UPS has a trademark on its unique shade of brown.

Every company has a color palette. But only a few literally own One Color.

It seems like such a simple thing. Trivial, really.

There are thousands of books about corporate strategy and competitive advantage.

Yet UPS leveraged the simplest and humblest of colors to create an amazing competitive position.

Immediately recognizable. A global One-of-a-Kind.

For eight years, UPS ran an advertising campaign that asked, “What can brown do for you?”

Perhaps it is time to consider a different question, “What could owning One Color do for you?”

Just to be clear, there is a big difference between having a corporate color palette that your ad agency created and owning One Color.

Does your company have One Signature Color?