A great brand knows how to shift gears and be ready for the future
The electricity market has moved from regulation to competition meaning that consumers have an added influence. Regulated utilities are as well becoming aware of the value of customer engagement. The most effective way of communicating with consumers is through a well-designed, strong brand. This is opening up new opportunities, both for the utilities and the customers. All marketing efforts need to rely on a strong brand work to be efficient, effective and deliver real results. The times of owning a share of the market are almost over – it’s time to earn a share of consumers hearts.
Join us in Reykjavik, Iceland. October 9-11 2017
To introduce the concept of Energy Branding. Read more.
The 4Ps of product marketing (Product, Place, Price, Promotion) drove marketing theory and practice for much of the 20th century. This product-dominant logic no longer serves the needs of executives and decision-makers tasked with energy marketing and branding in the 21st century. A customer-centric view is required to develop and sustain lasting relationships with increasingly savvy energy consumers who also desire more information to be communicated to them. Branding is generally considered a superior tool for efficient communication, but within the energy sector this has not been the case. By viewing other comparable industries, we find compelling evidence that strong brands will also dominate the electricity space. Of this there are already strong indications. CHARGE – The World’s First Energy Branding Conference – will be the scene to introduce Energy Branding – the future of the industry.
Share knowledge, best & worst practices of consumer engagement and discuss the future of energy. Read more.
Now that the utility market has shifted from monopoly position to competition, consumers have added influence. The customer can no longer be treated as a measuring instrument, but as an individual having diverse needs and wants who requires a sound reason for preferring one energy offering to another. The consumer still needs to connect to a socket for electricity; however, the energy companies need to connect to the individual mind of the consumer for a better understanding of his preferences to create a lasting relationship. The relationships should be based on the consumers’ engagement where they are given a valid reason to care. CHARGE seeks out to explore the frontiers of Energy Branding and bring to the industry hands-on best practices and cases along with academic examples with the aim of demonstrating potential opportunities for the energy space and its customers by utilizing world-class brand practices.
Energy professionals in all fields seeking to understand how branding electricity differs from other products. Read more.
Energy professionals seeking to understand how branding electricity differs from other products. For Energy marketers & branding experts seeking to transform utilities into brands to make them relevant in the 21st century. Anyone working with energy companies who seeks to know how to engage the consumer in the most efficient ways. Branding is the underlying philosophy needed for both electric retailers and suppliers as well as transmission and distribution. The conference is for individuals and organizations that realize the rules of the electricity space have changed and want to be informed of what lies ahead. The focused scope of the conference – Energy Branding – ensures that participants will grasp the concept in detail and obtain a working knowledge of it. And the broad approach, as reflected in the various tracks, ensures that relevant influential factors are not overlooked. Lastly, the conference is held in Reykjavik. Reykjavik’s name (direct translation: Steaming Bay) is actually derived from the steam the Viking settlers saw coming from the ground and which, centuries later, was used to make electricity. Energy is therefore at the very heart of Reykjavik.
We are currently recruiting speakers and moderators and will be announcing the first speakers soon. For an overview of speakers and tracks of CHARGE 2016, please click here.
If you are interested in speaking or would like to suggest a speaker, please fill out the contact form. There are few slots available – we are looking for speakers with a passion and interest for branding, marketing and consumer centricity in the energy space. We look for a cross sector mix of speakers with diverse backgrounds.
The first Energy Branding Conference was held in Reykjavik, Iceland in September 2016. CHARGE2016 proved to be a big success, attracting guests from 30 countries around the globe.
Please go through the photo gallery from the event to revisit some of the great memories and experience we share from this unique event at the most accessible exotic location in the World – Iceland. Click the images for a better look.
Please send us a line if you would like a photo of yourself in a higher resolution.
The Charge Energy Branding Awards will be presented at a ceremony taking place at the Blue Lagoon ballroom.
The main purpose of the awards is to draw attention to the necessity of good branding in a rapidly changing energy space. One way of doing that is to showcase and honour good brands. For further information on the process, please download the Charge Awards handout.
A good brand stands out from the competition and is unique in the eyes of the consumers. It understands its loyal customers, knows how to communicate its meaning and can defend its market share with differentiation. At CHARGE – the World’s First Energy Branding Conference – energy experts from around the world gather to witness the choice of the world’s best energy brands at the CHARGE Awards ceremony.
A panel of experts in the energy space, marketing, consulting and academia met and pooled their knowledge to create a longlist of brands. Members of the panel individually rated each brand on the shortlist of final nominees.
To select winners for Best Energy Brand and Best Green Energy Brand, the score for each brand is a combined score from a panel of experts, consumer survey and a rating from an independent analysis. In the category of Transmission or Distribution, the average score from panel members decides the best brand.
OVO Energy’s Head of Brand, Sarah Keegan and Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO & Founder with Iceland’s minister of Industry & Innovation, Ragnheidur Elin Arnadottir & CHARGE Conference Chairman Dr. Fridrik Larsen.
The panel gave OVO the verdict of being “very clear, clean and trustworthy and transcends beyond a brand into a movement”. OVO Energy has achieved to engage with customers and its customers are engaging back. It operates in a highly competitive market and has customers that are extremely satisfied with the service it provides. Not only has it impressed its customers but it impressed the panel of experts as well. One panelist commented: “Most impressive in terms of uniqueness” while another panelist noted: “the most promising energy brand as it is not only uniquely branded, but also has the best business model – which points towards the future”.
Ecotricity Ambassador, Helen Taylor with Iceland’s minister of Industry & Innovation, Ragnheidur Elin Arnadottir & CHARGE Conference Chairman Dr. Fridrik Larsen.
The world’s first green electricity company, Ecotricity is based in the UK and it owns the world’s first green branded football club, The Forest Green Rovers. The panel commented that it “has a compelling business model with transparent customer engagement”. Both the panel and the customers agreed on the winner. The panel considers it to “send a clear message that offers a strong relationship with customers”. A truly green and sustainable to the core of its business in a believable way. Though it was marginally higher than other brands in regards to customer satisfaction – it had the highest green perception among customers with almost full house.
Stedin’s Brand Manager, Leonie Prins & Marko Kruithof Innovation Director with Iceland’s minister of Industry & Innovation, Ragnheidur Elin Arnadottir & CHARGE Conference Chairman Dr. Fridrik Larsen.
Stedin is a Distribution System Operator of most of the Randstad area in the Netherlands. A DSO that is prepared for the future with a constant conversation with its customers to anticipate their needs. The panel commended Stedin’s brand definition for being both clear and detailed. Stedin has an ambition to behave in a manner that consumers would not connect to a monopoly. Stedin is a brand that was considered by the panel to deliver brand images consistently with cohesive presence, clear communications and clear positioning towards the future.
A panel of experts with an extensive overview of the worldwide energy market and an industry perspective will nominate outstanding energy brands. The panel will further evaluate the brands, based on factors of underlying brand strategy, such as differentiation, uniqueness and segmentation.
Alex Trembath · International Hydro Association
Alexander Richter · Think GeoEnergy
Anders H. Lier · Enoro
André Havekort · KIC Innoenergy
Ben Parker · Utility Week Live
Chris Oberle · Market Strategies International
Dorthe Romer Frost · Dong Energy
Ian Stephens · Saffron Consultants
James Ngomeli · Brands & Beyond
Jeremey Hogan · Kraft + Toil
Jukka Ruusunen · Fingrid
Karsten Wiedermann · BNE
Kevin Lane Keller · Dartmouth University
Kevin O’Donovan · Intel
Lorena Skiljan · Wien Energie
Marietta Sander · World Geothermal Association
Martin Stadler · EdenSpiekermann
Olga Fasiecka · Enea
Paddy Young · European Utility Week
Patrick Hartmann · University of the Basque Country
Philip Guiliano · BrandActive
Sascha Lehmann · McKinsey & Company
Sébastien Doligé · EURELECTRIC
Slawomir Smyczek · University of Katowice
Susanne Nies · Entsoe
Takeshi Yamaguchi · Dentsu
Thomas Mikkelsen · VaasaETT
Tom Emil Olsen · Kind Norway
A great brand knows how to shift gears and be ready for the future
Lessons from industries that once were thought of as un-brandable
Differentiating your message across different platforms.
How to connect to consumers minds and earn a share of their heart
Increasing value with well branded electricity
Consumer perception of green and skepticism towards green claims
German steel, French wine and Swiss clocks. Who will own electricity?
Creating engagement and sustainable behavior with smart-technology
Beyond retail, why and how natural monopolies should use branding
Managers in energy companies are facing challenges in communicating with consumers in a demanding environment
In most cases, energy buyers lack awareness and knowledge regarding electricity markets and seem to focus only on price. It is, however, an oversimplification that consumers base their purchases on price alone.
A well executed branding strategy delivers on average 5% increased ROI on marketing spending.
Meet the most forward thinking minds in and around the energy sector. Form new connections in the most unique settings a conference can offer in the world.
Branding has been proven to be a highly efficient tool to communicate with energy consumers. Marketing energy utilities can be a challenging task, a strong brand makes communication easier.
With powerful branding, the energy sector can evolve and be ready for more efficient sources of energy, new technology, outsiders entering the field and ever changing habits of consumers.
Brand management poses a challenge to the sector due to a complex environment and a commodity-like product. Due to these intricacies, it might even be contested whether branding could be a viable option for electricity. Furthermore, since electricity is a commodity it may seem a paradox to brand it, since, by definition, commodities have no differentiation features that can be used to for branding purposes but differentiation is the premise for branding.
However, the general branding literature explains the positive impact branding can have and it would, therefore, be logical to assume that brand management could also be successfully utilized in the electricity industry.
For the past twenty years there has been a world-wide trend in favor of market-oriented reforms, part of which is instituting wholesale and retail electricity markets, where electricity companies compete for the consumers’ patronage.
The liberalization of electricity markets is a tough undertaking and involves a merger of competitive retail markets, regulated transmission and distribution activities, as well as related supplementary services whereby healthy market competition is balanced with appropriate regulation of monopoly power.
The long-term effects of liberalization are yet to be realised, but the challenge remains for energy company managers to ensure optimum operation in a new environment.
One of those challenges is brand management; a highly demanding task due to the complexity of the electricity markets, the intangible nature of electricity and interconnectedness of electricity offerings.
In most cases, energy buyers lack awareness and knowledge of electricity markets. At first glance, it appears that price is of paramount importance to them.
Price is certainly important, but research has shown it to be an oversimplification that consumers base their purchases on price alone.
A multitude of other factors come to play. Some evidence indicates that the focus on price is not confined to electricity being a commodity product; another reason is that, in some markets, a distinctive and understandable differentiation is lacking between energy retailers coupled with insufficient consumer awareness.
The retailer’s challenge, then, is to come up with a clear differentiation strategy, distinguishing his company from the competition; that is, a master plan which conveys perceived value to consumers and gives them a valid reason to prefer one energy offering to another. These value propositions can be of various kinds, ranging from a general perception of an energy company’s corporate social responsibility to its detailed and unique product offering.
Branding of electricity is increasingly important for energy retailers to ensure a competitive advantage. Why branding? Because a well-executed branding strategy delivers on average a 5% increase in ROI on marketing spending.
In addition, a well-implemented branding strategy improves customer retention, sells more and provides higher margins on specific branded electricity offerings.
The stage has been set for energy branding in the sector.
Now that a reasonably long period has passed from the liberalization of energy markets, energy companies are competing in a more aggressive environment than ever before.
A shift has occurred from a distribution environment to a competitive one, as households are able to choose among the various companies supplying electricity. However, the majority of households pay limited attention to the manner of purchasing electricity as long as it is delivered at a reasonable price with a high level of consistency. And to most of them, consumption of electricity is hardly more than several conveniently located wall sockets in the consumer’s home. This, however, might be changing, as the utility customers, once seen as a group of like-minded consumers, are becoming ever more aware of their purchases.
We welcome you to take part in a game-changing event. We are already in talks with some of the big names in the energy industry.
Resting on the tectonic plates of North-America and Eurasia, Iceland is situated in the North-Atlantic, between N-America and Europe . Though the native language is Icelandic, English is understood and spoken by over ninety per cent of the population. Some visitors say the culture is a Ameri-Scandi or Scandi-Ameri mix with a special ingredient while others can only describe it as being uniquely Icelandic. An ever growing number of both local and international airlines fly to Iceland.
The elements of Iceland are Fire, Ice and Water and are represented in the country’s flag. These elements are all essential in providing electricity in the country, the glaciers are stored energy that melt into rivers that turn the turbines of the power plants. The volcanic heat is used both to heat houses and to create electricity. We have tailor made exclusive tours that will explore the elements of Iceland and renewable power production.
Dr. Fridrik Larsen is the CEO and owner of Larsen Energy Branding. He is an international Keynote speaker on Energy Branding and has studied in the United States, England, Denmark, Austria and Iceland and holds degrees in Finance, Economics, Marketing, International Business and Psychology besides his Ph.D. Prior to founding Larsen Energy Branding, Dr. Larsen owned Agrippa Inc., a marketing and strategy consultancy whose clients include large and established companies; small/medium size companies, and public institution.
Dr. Larsen is an asst. professor of Business Administration at the University of Iceland, where he teaches marketing and branding. His primary research focus is electricity branding and he has published a number of international academic papers and book chapters on the subject. Dr. Larsen has taught at a University level in all the Scandinavian countries, and various other European countries. Furthermore, Dr. Larsen is the chairman of IMARK – the Icelandic Marketing Association. IMARK is responsible for all key roles in the Icelandic marketing field.
The conference is organized by LarsEn Energy Branding, a consultancy focusing primarily on guiding utilities becoming brands. The conference is international but situated between N-America and Europe, the two markets liberalization and deregulation has been implemented the most in the last 20 years. We are reaching out to create a dialogue between the utilities and the branding sector.
We would love your feedback on this conference. Do you have any questions you need answered, suggestions on topics to cover, lectures you think that are relevant and interesting or do you just want to drop in and say hello?