You can’t judge a book by looking at the cover was how Bo Diddley once put it. There is a great truth there that can be applied to Energy Brands: You can’t judge a brand by looking at the logo. A brand is not defined by the logo, it is judged by feelings in the hearts of consumers and it is defined by knowledge and connections in the minds of consumers.
Energy Branding is not the process of designing or updating a logo. Energy Branding is neither the process of naming or renaming the utility or the retailer. By refreshing the logo or renaming the company, there will be a temporary effect on its image. At best the efforts might have a positive effect in the short term. At worst, updating the color palette and imagery or making the company’s name reflect better the zeitgeist, will confuse the consumer since the graphical representation of the company does not reflect the perception of the brand.
The focus of great brands is not graphical representation, it is consumer experience and perception of all aspects of the operations. A new logo on the letterhead of the energy bill is not what the consumer seeks – understanding the energy bill is what the consumer wants. Many energy companies think that marketing is only about buying airtime and spreads in newspapers. Marketing is useless if there is not a strong brand with clear message and meaning behind it.
Branding works because it helps consumers make sense of a complicated world. Updating the logo is often done to “do branding” – it does not address the underlying problems of consumer perception and many times it has no effect or makes the world more complicated for customers. Learn how your utility can become an Energy Brand in Iceland in September at CHARGE – The World’s First Energy Branding Conference.