We have a ton of media from CHARGE 2017 that is currently being processed. Photos from the conference have been uploaded to our Facebook page. The videos are being edited but we have already uploaded a short video with interviews with some of the participants and footage from CHARGE Energy Branding 2017 and the CHARGE Energy Branding Awards.
E.ON – OVO – Greenpeace Energy – Elenia – TenneT – Nissan chosen as the World’s Best Energy Brands at the 2017 CHARGE Awards
Reykjavik, October 10th 2017
The winners of the CHARGE Awards were announced at a ceremonial dinner in Reykjavik last night. A panel of 40 experts in and around the energy space, branding experts and corporate consultants named a list of brands they considered deserving being considered as the best energy brands in the world. After a careful screening process nominees were asked to make their case on why they are deserving being considered the best in the world. Brands in six categories were mentioned – Established Brands, Challenger Brands, Green Energy Brands, Distribution Brands, Transmission Brands and product brands. In addition to the brands turning in cases for the panel, customers of brands in four categories where polled with the only tool that measures customer-based brand equity in the energy space.
Members of the panel had a hard time rating the cases and choose the best in each category due to the quality of the brands. But only one winner could be announced in each category – and in many cases, s there was a photo-finish amongst all the brands in a category.
The winners were the following: Best Established Brand: E.ON Best Challenger Brand: OVO Energy Best Green Brand: Greenpeace Energy Best Distribution Brand: Elenia Best Transmission Brand: TenneT Best Product Brand: Nissan
Dr. Fridrik Larsen – conference chairman and CEO of LarsEn Energy Branding commented “It has been a long process that you see the results of tonight. The competition this year was extremely tough and there is a lot of quality branding activity being done in the energy space worldwide. Being named as a finalist is a great achievement in itself. It was a great pleasure to see brands from all over the world participating. My congratulations to the winners, the world’s best energy brands”.
About the CHARGE Awards
The only awards that honour companies in the energy space for building strong brands that connect successfully to customers. To create a shortlist of eligible brands, a global panel of 40 professionals from the energy sector, marketing, consulting and academia, suggests energy brands according to strict criteria. After a screening of the shortlist, a rigorous process takes place to find the top 3-5 brands in each category. To decide the winner, the finalists need to know their own brand and communicate it effectively to the panel in a case study. To find out if the brands are effective in the marketplace, a customer research is conducted on each brand. The finalists this year have operations all over the world – from the Americas, Europe, Japan and Oceania.
About CHARGE Energy Branding
CHARGE Energy Branding is a global event that takes place in Iceland each year. The conference is a hub of new ideas for energy brands from around the world. C-suite decision makers, innovators and entrepreneurs discuss issues related to making energy services more tangible and energy companies more efficient in becoming customer-centric. Participating in the event are trade associations related to energy, members of both local and country governments and international organisations. CHARGE 2017 was held in Reykjavik October 9-10 and CHARGE 2018 will take place September 24-25.
The team arrived safely in the front of Harpa conference centre on the Sunday before the conference after a rather smooth rider along the south coast of Iceland. The CHARGE team had gone into some lengthy discussion if the cars should be cleaned up and polished before arriving in front of Harpa in downtown Reykjavik where they would be on display for the guests arriving at the conference the following day. We decided to have the cars dirty as a proof that they have gone around some challenging roads in the Icelandic countryside, over mountains and on gravel on occasion. This deliberation turned out to be useless, Mother Nature stepped in and cleaned the cars with heavy rainfall along the southern coast.
When arriving in Reykjavik, Stuart sounded a bit apologetic. He knew that we had been waiting for him to come back and give a presentation on the big adventure he, his mother and Mark had participated in but it really turned out to be as uneventful as any road trip. Just like any other road trip, a goat invaded the car, they left the North of Iceland the morning before the first snow of winter and drove over a glacial river the same day as massive temporary repairs had been done on the bridge that had been washed away in floods the week before. And they did not exactly stay on the Ring Road around Iceland and only stopping for their vehicles to recharge. They went off the Ring Road on several occasions. One time for a shortcut over one of the most feared mountain roads in the East of Iceland but on other occasions to lengthen the total distance travelled by 400 kilometres.
The unique energy usage of consumers in the Nordic region will be at the heart of geo’s presence at CHARGE.
The Icelandic backdrop provides an ideal opportunity for geo to unveil the findings of its recent pilot projects in Finland and Norway. These focused on the use of geo’s Cosy smart thermostat to help consumers better manage the heating in their homes, by not heating when nobody is home and, in part, by taking advantage of ‘Nordpool tariffs’.
As a result, the company will be launching a bespoke designed version of Cosy for the Nordic region which will be on show on the geo stand at the event.
Attention will also be given to highlighting the three vital areas of home energy consumption:understand – making energy usage more visible; control – the solutions that put control back into consumer’s hands so they can make changes; and automate – the benefits of integrated energy management so that metering services, energy storage, heating, appliance controls, renewables and electric vehicles are automated.
The geo team will be on the stand to discuss the changes that have been brought about as a result of the electricity market moving from regulation to competition and the opportunities that this provides for the industry, and for consumers.
These changes and opportunities will also form part of the presentation to be given by Simon Anderson, Chief Strategy Officer at geo, when he speaks at CHARGE Energy Branding.
“The Nordic markets are at a hugely important point in the way that they use energy in the home,” Simon Anderson said. “Electricity is rapidly increasing in price and demand is growing, even as the grid infrastructure struggles to cope. The situation is ripe for new energy sources and new energy solutions that can better manage that demand, and lower costs for consumers. This will be a key focus for us at this important event in the geo calendar.”
Thursday October 4th
The CHARGE mobiles arrived in Hof after driving in great conditions from Höfn. The week before the group arrived in Iceland, heavy rain in the South and East of Iceland caused floods that ruptured Road 1. Construction crews had just finished putting up a temporary bridge when the Electric cars arrived.
While the group had left the North the day before the first snow of the autumn, the first leg of the journey on the South coast of Iceland had still some remnants of summer – sun and up to eleven degrees centigrade.
Stuart, Mark and Anita stopped by Jökulsárlón, a lagoon full of ice from the glacier above before heading off to Hof, their destination. At Hof, they got to plug their vehicles while they rested for the day ahead.
Tuesday October 3rd
The most challenging leg of the journey was ahead. The autumn chill is fastly sliding towards winter with the temperature at three degrees centigrade. From Húsavík the cars went in land and upwards. The EVs had a steady climb to 500 meters above sea level where they stopped for a charge at Möðrudalur. Where a Viking goat took the passenger seat (The Icelandic goat immigrated to Iceland along with the Norse settlers)
At Möðrudalur they had a relaxing time while enjoying coffee and Kleina, an Icelandic pastry that could best be described as the twisted sister of the Donut.
Although the way up there was a bit straining on the batteries, the way down was a bit better as Stuart describes in the video. The batteries were pancaked at arrival at Egilsstaðir.
Wednesday, October 4th
From Egilsstaðir they started driving from the most eastern point of the trip towards the south coast of Iceland. On the way, the cars stopped for a top-up at Grímsárvirkjun Hydropower station. Not every day that you can plug your car straight to the power source.
You can view Stuart’s video diary in the player below:
The road ahead would be the last leg where the electric cars could rely on the few-and-far-between fast-charging stations in rural Iceland. After staying the night at Blönduós in cottages at the banks of the river Blanda, they would venture on and stay the night in Húsavík which is the furthest north they will go on the trip. Húsavík is a detour off the ring-road around Iceland thus lengthening the total distance of the road-trip.
This leg of the road-trip would take them over three mountain roads. Though these roads are not as dramatic as they sound (at least not for natives) they are a steep climb for the electric vehicles which would be put to the test.
The group picked up a fellow traveller and EV enthusiast, Michael Nevin who is the British Ambassador to Iceland. He got to drive the KIA from Varmahlíð to Akureyri.
— Michael Nevin?? (@MichaelNevinFCO) October 2, 2017
It turns out that Stuart, Mark and Anita aren’t the only things Made in the UK participating in CHARGE around Iceland. Let the ambassador explain:
Stuart was the first to drive around the UK in an e-car. We both agree that UK innovation has a lot to offer the e-car revolution. pic.twitter.com/CNkrqnUwAn
— Michael Nevin?? (@MichaelNevinFCO) October 2, 2017
While the travellers renourished over lunch with the ambassador, the cars got their electrons at the last fast charging station for a long time.
From Akureyri they ventured off to the picturesque village of Húsavík which lies further up North in the bay of Skjálfandi. There they charged up at the mid-speed charge point provided by the municipality.
The next leg of the journey will be a challenging one – they will venture up to higher altitude to a landscape thought to be so much out of this earth that NASA trained astronauts for the Apollo missions there to help them prepare for the moon.
Stuart, Mark and Anita – Stuart’s mother – arrived in Iceland last Friday. After going through customs they were greeted by the CHARGE team and the electric vehicles that they will be charging around Iceland on for their trip, a Nissan Leaf and Kia Soul. After the drive from Reykjavik and the drive back, the cars needed to be charged for the trip ahead.
Where do you go to charge both the cars and the drivers?
Well… IKEA of course. Mark, Stuart and Anita plugged their cars into two of the over 40 charge points at the IKEA store in Iceland. While their cars were charging, they went inside to the IKEA restaurant to recharge after the flight to Iceland.
… and EV they went!
The morning after the travellers met with a convoy of electric vehicles in Elliðarárdalur valley. The meeting point was no coincidence since it the location of a hydropower plant that marked the beginning of the Icelandic Energy Transition way back in the 30’s.
— Charge Energy Conf. (@BrandingEnergy) October 1, 2017
After the convoy had gathered around, Stuart, Mark and Anita were eager to get on their way but first, they did an interview with the Icelandic media.
(the player does not appear you can click here )
A post shared by ChargeEnergyBrandingConference (@branding.energy) on
The convoy followed them to the outskirts of Reykjavik and on they went on their own to the ON charging station in Borgarnes. Again they charged up with a meal while the cars were charging.
From Borgarnes they went on to the Snæfellsnes peninsula to the town of Stykkishólmur.
From Stykkishólmur the cars travelled the longest part of the journey, 130 kilometres to Laugarbakki which almost made Stuart a bit range anxious.
The finalists for the World’s Best Energy Brands have been announced! After shortlisting and screening, 3-5 finalists remain in the 6 categories.
The finalists (in alphabetic order) in each category (in alphabetic order) are:
- Ovo energy
- Public Power
- ESB networks
- Chugoku Electric Power
- Green Mountain Power
- Greenpeace Energy
- Natur Energie Plus
- Nordic Green Energy
- ON – Our Nature
- Green Energy Options (GEO)
Great cities are charged with energy. New York is so buzzing it never sleeps, Paris is intense yet laid back & cool and charged with romanticism while cities like Austin and Berlin are filled with creative energy. These cities have formed a lasting impression in our minds. We have often caught the vibe of those places without even visiting them. These cities have enjoyed a favourable word of mouth and popular culture has further helped shape them as brands.
The benefits of a strong city brand
There are namely three reasons (or segments) why cities (and countries for that matter) actively try to build a favourable image. They are all about creating an attraction for those segments.
Cities are looking to retain and attract new inhabitants. Just like for companies, inhabitants with a strong sense of the image of the city they live in are happier. A city that has a strong, positive image becomes an attractive place to relocate to. Being a sought out city brand for inhabitants means that the talent pool grows.
A city that has a strong, positive image becomes an attractive place to relocate to
A strong brand comes first in mind when it comes to deciding on consumption. A city that has a strong image pops ups first when people are thinking of taking a vacation. There are of course many things that exclude a certain city such as the occasion of the vacation or the time of year.
Companies, like most people, seek out to be in the company of their peers. If you are a start-up, your dream is Silicon Valley — If you want to produce a film, you go to Hollywood. It is not just about the hype, if you know that your peers are there, chances are that the infrastructure and knowledge are already there. And along with companies come jobs and jobs attract inhabitants.
Landmarks are like iconic logos
Building a powerful city brand is about being an attractive city in the eyes of the consumer or the stakeholder. It is not about creating an attraction. The Empire State Building and the Eiffel tower are great landmarks or icons for their cities but Paris and New York are about more than that — landmarks are kind of like logos — a logo is a graphical representation of a brand but there is more to it than the logo for great brands. Just like strong product brands — strong city brands appeal to people because of an emotional connection. The strongest city brands in the world are strong because they provide people with an intangible benefit, an experience.
The Empire State building and the Eiffel tower are great landmarks or icons for their cities but Paris and New York are about more than that.
Energy as an ingredient for the city brand
While every city has a certain energy to it or a vibe, not many cities have actively built their brands around energy in the literal sense. There are of course cities like Houston or Aberdeen that have become known for their oil industries but that image often has a hard time to translate outside the energy industry. We can see cities that are building an energy brand on a B2B level. Vasaa in Finland has a strong energy cluster and another example is Berlin. Berlin is not known as a powerhouse of energy sources but rather a powerhouse of creative energy sources. The image of Berlin as an energy brand builds on its image of creative energy and focuses on energy innovation.
We can see cities that are building an energy brand on a B2B level.
Energy imagery as part of the city brand has not yet been fully utilised. There are enormous opportunities for cities around the world to become strong energy brands. It can be based on novel or innovative ways of energy usage or it can use landmarks as icons for their energy brands. The Hoover Dam and the Niagara falls are great examples of iconic landmarks that have attracted millions of people for decades. But there is yet a city to emerge that uses those kinds of landmarks as an active ingredient that adds value to the city brand.
Energy can create even more value
When I set out to research the possibilities of branding energy, I wanted to do more than guide energy retailers into creating new logos and jingles or adopting a new colour. I wanted to see how energy can create more value than it already does by making an emotional connection to the consumer’s minds. This can be done by branding energy as a valuable ingredient for sectors outside the energy space. One of the areas this applies to are cities and countries as brands -as energy brands.
I wanted to see how energy can create more value than it already does.
That is why cities and places as energy brands have been a topic in at the CHARGE Energy Branding Conference agenda. To make energy more valuable we must look at ways to connect energy to other things than devices through a socket in the wall.