One thing is for sure: for energy companies, the next ten years will differ dramatically from the last.
Energy company communication can often feel like the marketing of the ’90s—the 1890s. But several factors are driving fundamental changes. While the privatization of energy companies happened 10 to 20 years ago, the energy industry seems to be a late bloomer when it comes to branding. Evolving customer expectations and the realities of contemporary communication within the market are also moving things forward.
Energy is a consumer-driven market
Energy has become a product like any other and sales are no longer a given. People have a choice, and you’d better explain why they should choose you. But don’t get me wrong—branding isn’t about big companies with fossil fuel portfolios trying to convince people that they’ve gone green.
Energy branding, like branding in general, means:
- building and maintaining trust
- having clear and credible positioning
- giving a relevant promise to your customers
- communicating actively and listening carefully
- telling a coherent story across all channels
- knowing what to say, when, and where (using channels that make sense to you and your customers)
Finding solutions for future energy supplies is one of the most important and challenging topics on the planet. Shouldn’t this be an exciting topic to talk about, elaborating on the role your company plays within it?
Create positive customer experiences
All too often the customer reality is that you only hear from your energy company for unpleasant reasons: an invoice, a technical problem, trying desperately to get hold of the customer helpline, or receiving mail to try and sell you something you most likely don’t need, let alone understand or care about.
Make energy something exciting. Show how you transform energy from a commodity into a service. Tell customers how you’re shaping the energy revolution.
Know your new competitors
It’s also vital to show that you are the right partner for any possible energy-related service in the future. The competitors of today and tomorrow are not other established energy companies, but brands like Google, and agile start-ups. It’s not about selling energy anymore, it’s about making people’s lives easier. Stay true to yourself. Don’t promise anything you can’t keep. People will find out easily, and they won’t be shy in telling others about it.
To sum it up: your branding is the means to connect your business to your customers. No connection, no business. It’s that simple.
That’s where Charge comes in
Charge is the first global energy branding conference, held in September in Reykjavik, Iceland. At Edenspiekermann, we’re proud to be the strategic partner for this ground-breaking event. Industry leaders and experts from around the world will meet to share insights, experiences, and discuss the future of branding within the energy sector.
Dr. Fridrik Larsen, CEO of LarsEn Energy Branding, visited our Berlin office to talk about the relevance and importance of Charge, and why the industry needs to rethink the way it brands itself.
Want to find out more about energy branding? Get in touch with Martin Stadler