The report on the brands that made to the finals of the World’s Best Energy Brands this year has been published. The e-report includes the energy industry branding case studies that the finalists presented to the panel of experts as their submission for the 2018 CHARGE Energy Branding Awards.
You can’t find as a comprehensive overview of energy branding anywhere else. Gain insights on how the best in the world are approaching their branding challenges.
The report includes:
Case studies from Energy Brands from around the world.
All categories of the CHARGE Awards – Established, Challenger, Green, Transmission and Product brands
An analysis of all categories
A detailed explanation of what defines a strong energy brand
We offer three packages:
Single category (175 euros)
Full report with all categories (495 euros)
The full report and an in-depth online interactive workshop (2.730 euros)
When your only point of differentiation is price – you are peddling a commodity. Once you are differentiating by creating a perception in the mind of a consumer – you have a product. There is a simple key to a branding strategy. To have a commodity make the leap into branding, consumers have to be able to distinguish the brand from other competitors or other products. In a nutshell; a company selling a commodity needs to have its offering the same as offerings from the competition.
Making a unique connection
The most simple way of creating a brand is by having just one offering under the brand’s name. This product needs to signal that it is unique with a logo and a set of colours on the packaging. The packaging needs to stay the same and the product needs to stay the same so when the consumer buys the package, the consumer knows what he or she is getting. The message through the channel mix needs to stay the same and if you have created the right connections in the mind of the consumer, you are pretty much set with a good brand that might need some adjustment as time moves.
Branding a product that will sit in the shelves of the supermarket has a lot to do with what you do on the conveyor belt and through your marketing in the media.
Branding a service
For electricity and energy in general, companies are not branding a product, they are branding a service. The stream of electrons is the same, it doesn’t matter if you have procured or produced green electricity, the customer gets the electrons that were generated next to the home. The perception of green, brown or blue energy is created through branding – in the end, what the customer receives is just a commodity.
There is no physical packaging the customer experiences when using the core product. The service the energy company provides is what the customer perceives as the brand.
The brand at every touch-point
For energy brands to really succeed in the market, they need to establish a brand that can be felt through every touch point. The brand must be experienced through the call centre, the app and through ads and social media. Many energy companies silo the brand away at the marketing or communications department. Customers get a hint of the brand through marketing or through PR but in most cases, the brand is not felt through other communications with the company – or rather a different brand is felt through different touchpoints. This split personality that people sense from the brand creates scepticism that pollutes every ambitious outreach for a better image.
The need for consistency
To put it in a context with store-bought physical products – Coca Cola would never have succeeded by having five logos, eight different colours for the same product or if one of six cans of Coke would be filled with just water or Fanta. In the same sense, an energy company will never succeed if the brand puts forth one positioning in an ad, a different brand promise in another ad, customers receive a different attitude when they reach out to the service center and a completely different approach when the company is reaching out when they are announcing a new project.
Keeping the promise
A brand is a promise kept and it has to be constantly delivered. No one is happy when coming home from the store with a different product inside the packaging that was promised on the inside. Service brands have the challenge to having their products on a constant conveyor belt and the service must always have the same branded ingredients. For a brand to succeed in any industry, it must always be up to standards at every touch point the customer can possibly have with the brand.
The energy sector is not simply about the metamorphosis of different forms of energy into electrons that are transmitted and delivered into homes and businesses for the next metamorphosis. The energy sector is pushing forward progress and creating value. Value is determined by the end consumer. And it is the purpose of every brand to create as much value as possible. Brands have an enormous opportunity to increase value with a green positioning and that will be one of the points addressed in the track Green is the New Black. Many brands and companies need to communicate and create value for more stakeholders than the end consumer. The B2B communication track is about how brands can communicate effectively with different stakeholders.
Find the full conference agenda for both the 24th and 25th of September here.
Green is the New Black
It seems that everyone has gone green, sustainable, renewable or circular. While there are different shades of green available – brands need to be green to the core in order to stand out from others. Green positioning needs to go beyond the source and connect in innovative ways to the hearts of the consumers.
James Ellsmoor will talk about how renewables and sustainability don’t only make an economic sense but have become an important ingredient in country and place branding Viggó Jónsson will tell us how Green is an important ingredient for brands to create more value. Clay Koplin tells us about how Cordova, an off-the-grid Alaskan town, has become the perfect testing ground for the energy system of the future. Roberto Zangrandi will let us into how Distribution System Operators in Europe have been communicating with their customers Sushil Reddy will share his Sun PedalRide adventure around the world and especially his recent trip around Iceland Guðný Camilla Aradóttir will moderate the panel discussion
Branding is not only about communicating to the end-consumer. Branding is about communicating a consistent brand to all customers and stakeholders. It is often thought that price is the prime factor on the B2B market, but research has shown that brands on the B2B market that use emotional marketing message fare better off than ones using rational message.
Piotr Zawistowski will talk about how Power Exchanges establish and maintain communication with their various stakeholders. Liene Donckers will share examples of how brands can seek inspiration from different stakeholders on what works in brand communication. Paddy Young is going to talk about how you can stay on top of an ever-evolving market and stay relevant in the marketplace. Stefanía G. Halldórsdóttir shares insights on how energy brands in the wholesale market communicate with their customers. Ingrid Helsingen Warner will moderate the panel discussion.
The utility as it was known 10 years ago is dead. The Energy sector is adapting to a changing landscape. While the energy mix is moving more towards renewables, the sector is changing its approach to the end consumer as well. Energy needs branding for effective communication. Branding is not only about attracting more customers but also to communicate important information from a credible source in a way that everyone can understand – both laymen and professionals. An important thing in crafting a brand that is authentic and believable is looking at the brand from the inside. The most crucial touchpoints any brand has, directly or indirectly are the employees that represent the brand.
Death of the Utility
The utility business model has gone through changes and is constantly being disrupted. You will hear from European energy brands that have been going through some transformation.
Emma Inston goes over how EON has transformed into a purpose-led brand. Henrik Sætness talks about the evolving energy market and how Statkraft is adapting to it. Rosemary Steen shows how Eirgrid has built trust by creating understanding. Koen Noyens will present a new vision for the European energy sector. Dr. Philip Lewis will moderate the panel discussion.
Branding from the inside out
There is a war for talent going on and brands need to speak to both employees and possible employees. A brand must communicate in a simple, constant manner and every employee must know how to communicate on behalf of the brand.
Dounia Alno will show you how ENGIE manages to unify a global workforce under a single brand. Caroline Kamerbeek presents on why it is important to engage the internal brand. Rune Kirt is going to talk about the importance of creating a common language for all internal stakeholders. Þórdís Lóa Þórhallsdóttir will moderate the panel discussion.
Winners of the CHARGE Awards announced at CHARGE 2018
You will have a seat at the table at the CHARGE Awards included in your admission to CHARGE 2018. The finalists were the top brands among those shortlisted by a panel of experts working in and around the global energy space. The winners in the categories of Established, Challenger and Green are determined by a combination of how their brands are perceived by their customers and how the panel judged their case studies. The winners of Transmission and Product are the brands with the highest scores from their case studies. Customers perception of energy brands is measured by the only Energy Branding Measurement tool available, the EBBI. Further information on the finalists can be found by clicking here.
CHARGE 2018 was a great success with participants coming from all over the world for a unique energy event in Iceland. Discussions on utility rebranding, sustainable energy solutions, audio branding and the CHARGE Energy Awards were handed out to the winners. Click the video below to see what went on and what people had to say about the conference and get a glimpse at the energy excursion.