OVO Energy, Ecotricity & Stedin are the World’s Best Energy Brands!

CHARGE, the World‘s First Energy Branding Conference was held in Reykjavik, Iceland September 19th-20th. The final event of the conference were the CHARGE Awards that were given to the world’s best energy brands during a ceremonial dinner at the Blue Lagoon.

The awards were handed out in three categories, Best Energy Brand, Best Green Energy Brand and Best Energy Brand in Transmission or distribution.

The aim of the awards was to create a benchmark for energy brands in both the liberalised retail sector as well as the regulated transmission and distribution sectors.

The criteria to determine the World‘s Best Energy Brands was developed by LarsEn Energy Branding – Europe‘s first branding consultancy with a clear focus on the energy sector.

The nominated brands came from a longlist of 80 brands from 20 countries that a panel of experts listed. The panel consisted of 30 experts from around the world with a diverse background from energy, advertising, brand consultancies and energy associations. After a screening process, the panel was asked to rate the brands through a rigorous grading process which was combined with a score from consumer surveys and market analysis.

The final 14 nominated brands were: EDP from Portugal, Enel from Italy, Fortum from Finland, OVO Energy from the UK and Powershop from New Zealand in the category of Best Energy Brand. Nominated as best Green Energy Brand were awattar from Austria, Ecotricity from the UK, Eneco from The Netherlands, LoCo2 Energy from the UK and Nordic Green Energy from Sweden. In the Category of Best Transmission or Distribution brand, Fingrid from Finland, Stedin from The Netherlands, TenneT from The Netherlands and Wellington Electricity from New Zealand were considered outstanding.

The Best Energy Brand was OVO Energy. The winner has achieved to engage with customers and its customers are engaging back. It has customers that are extremely satisfied with the service it provides. Not only does it impress 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.

The Best Green Energy Brand was Ecotricity. 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.

The Best Transmission or Distribution brand was Stedin. Stedin has the ambition to behave in a manner that consumers would not connect to a monopoly. The winner 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.

Frank Zappa – Energy Branding Pioneer

Frank Zappa was perhaps the most successful musician of the 20th century. He was able to release experimental music and cash in on it too. Not only a musical genius but also a successful marketer.

He was also an energy branding pioneer.

25 years ago people were blasting Chris Isaak singing about Wicked Games and flocking to the cinemas to see Arnold be back as The Terminator when they were not watching The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

25 years ago, using less electricity had not become an energy marketing buzz. But Frank Zappa urged consumers to use less electricity in this ad for PGE in 1991.

Powerful Communication & Energy Engagement

A great energy brand knows how to communicate. Not only with the customer but has a clear way of internal communication, external communication with stakeholders and has a way of creating an engaging platform for the customer to interact on.

Energy companies’ engagement with their consumers via social media is no longer an option but a necessity within the utility sector. This method of communicating is expected by consumers and if you are not using it you are being left behind.
There are several compelling reasons for energy marketers for using social media:  It increases brand recognition as it makes your brand acknowledged by existing customers and encourages them to stay as loyal customers. Brand loyalty has been shown to improve when companies are active on social media channels.  Opportunities to convert increase with each entry posted on a social media platform as the brand has potential customers who have an opportunity to interact with you and conversion rates increases as the brands become more humanized by interacting on social media channels.  Inbound traffic increases since each social media entry adds another path leading back to your site.  With only limited effort, marketing cost can be decreased significantly and Search Engine rankings can be optimized.  Using social media efficiently further enriches customer experiences and improves their insights, which is important for an intangible product like electricity.

Smart technology has created an opportunity for creating a two-way relationship between consumer and company by giving the consumer a real chance of seeing energy usage in an interactive way.

Be sure to follow the Communication & Energy Engagement track were the spotlight will be on both internal and external communication and creating brand value with social media & content marketing. More info can be found at www.branding.energy