Tag Archives: CHARGE2018

Scenes and interviews from CHARGE2018

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.

 

 

Winners of the 2018 CHARGE Awards

EON, Powershop, Ekwatuer, Fingrid and Virta announced as World‘s best energy brands

Reykjavik 25 September 2018 – The world’s best energy brands were announced last night in Reykjavík as part of the CHARGE Energy Branding conference – the only event in the world dedicated to brand building and communications for the energy space.

Best Established Brand: EON
Best Challenger Brand: Powershop
Best Green Brand: ekWateur
Best Transmission brand: Fingrid
Best Product Brand: Virta

Each brand won their respected category after being shortlisted by an international panel of professionals working in and around the energy sector. The winners in the retail categories were the brands with the best-combined score from a customer research as well as a score from the panel. Winners of Transmission and Product categories were chosen by the panel.

What the panel had to say about the winners

EON: “A Bold Energy Giant – massive investments into business transformation. Seem to be living the brand/business/technology transformation happily and successfully, both inside the organisation and outside communicating and launching new products/services.”

Powershop: “An innovative, disruptive and incredibly well-executed brand. The brand is highly engaging, innovative and is very cohesive as a challenger brand. The brand is very clever and transcends electricity as a low involvement commodity into a highly engaged consumer brand.”

Ekwateur: “… built a very sensitive customer care strategy. Community management, testimonials, communication tools are important parts of the global company strategy. Their segmentation is very precise and well executed”

Fingrid: “Very good brand, with good core messages, innovation and customer-centric, a national monopoly with exceptional consumer focus and outward vision.  Logo and signature are clean and smart. ”

Virta: “Brand has a very clear direction and a strong presence in a way that is accessible to consumers while giving a strong sense of reliability and trustworthiness. A clear effort made to communicate with consumers is a carefree way that develops high engagement and great user experiences. ”

Dr. Fridrik Larsen, founder of CHARGE Energy Branding: “It was an even competition this year with strong cases from the finalists. But the winners delivered excellent case studies and there were some strong indications of the excellence of the finalists when we reviewed the customer surveys for the retail energy categories in the EBBI benchmarking tool. It’s great to see that the energy space is fully aware of the benefits of branding and the finalists and especially the winners set the bar for the rest of the industry.”

About the Charge Energy Branding Conference 

The annual CHARGE Energy Branding Conference is the world’s first knowledge and networking platform on energy branding. As an international event strategically located between North America and Europe, CHARGE aims at leading the global conversation on communications in the energy and utility sectors while drawing attention to issues of sustainability, innovation, and the consumer-centric experience. The conference is a hub for decision-making, networking and researching about energy branding as an emerging field.

Re-thinking the Utility

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.

DEATHOFTHEUTILITY

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.

insideout

Winners of the CHARGE Awards announced at CHARGE 2018

Established: Alperia Energy, Innogy, Enmax, E.on, Helen Challenger: Illumia, Powershop, Igloo Energy, easyEnergy, Watt + VOLT Green: Burlington Electric, CleanChoice Energy, Bulb, Ekwateur Transmission: Eirgrid, Enbridge, Fingrid Distribution: Submissions from shortlisted brands did not meet the standards for finalists for the World’s Best Energy Brands. Product & Innovation: Tiko, Virta, THE FCTR E

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.

Green to the Core and B2B Branding

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

green_is_thenewblack

B2B Communication

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.

B2B

Radical changes ahead for Energy Brands

Technology is changing the way brands communicate and interact with customers. But technology needs to be appealing and easy to interact with. Renewable energy is moving from being a point of difference has become a point of parity. What are the principles that brand practitioners should keep in mind for their brands to stay relevant or even ahead of the curve?

Find out in Reykjavik in September and learn from a cross-sector group of experts.

Meet some of the speakers at CHARGE 2018

Iuliana Calin, Head of Energy Partnerships, Google.

Speakers_LinkedIn_Iuliana
As Head, Energy for Google Hardware Partnerships in Canada, Iuliana works with partners to develop customer-focused energy programs that leverage Google Hardware and Nest products.

Is your energy brand ready for a radically assistive experience, with voice and AI at the core? Get a glimpse at the grid services of the future and how utilities can use them to better engage with their customers.

Michaël Boumendil, President & CCO – Sixieme Son

A musician and composer, with a degree in Marketing/Communications, that invented the concepts of musical design and audio branding. Boumendil’s approach to sound is not about creating ad jingles or licensing popular tracks. It is about creating more distinctive and appealing brands with sound and music.
A musician and composer, with a degree in Marketing/Communications, that invented the concepts of musical design and audio branding. Boumendil’s approach to sound is not about creating ad jingles or licensing popular tracks. It is about creating more distinctive and appealing brands with sound and music.

Brand engagement is moving from the screen to the speakers and a sonic identity is becoming as important as a visual identity. Learn how you can create more distinctive and appealing brands with sound and music.

Stefanía G. Halldórsdóttir, EVP, Marketing & Business Development – Landsvirkjun

Stefanía worked for CCP Games, most recently in the position of General Manager in Iceland, but also as Senior Development Director in the Shanghai office. Stefania worked in the energy industry for over 10 years, first at the National Energy Authority where she was head of information technology, and then later in a consulting company focusing on energy solutions and business intelligence
Stefanía worked for CCP Games, most recently in the position of General Manager in Iceland, but also as Senior Development Director in the Shanghai office. Stefania worked in the energy industry for over 10 years, first at the National Energy Authority where she was head of information technology, and then later in a consulting company focusing on energy solutions and business intelligence

Green is the new Black with the shift from fossil to clean. Where does that leave brands that have been 100% clean for decades? Learn how the National Power Company of Iceland rises above the noise to deliver its brand message.

Jacob Benbunan, CEO – Saffron Brand Consultants

Jacob founded Saffron and was immediately joined by his mentor and friend Wally Olins – the man who invented brand strategy. He champions the global, multi-cultural and one-team approach that Saffron embraced since day one. Previously, Jacob worked for 9 years at Wolff Olins and was part of the team that created the iconic telecom brand Orange.
Jacob founded Saffron and was immediately joined by his mentor and friend Wally Olins – the man who invented brand strategy.
He champions the global, multi-cultural and one-team approach that Saffron embraced since day one. Previously, Jacob worked for 9 years at Wolff Olins and was part of the team that created the iconic telecom brand Orange.

The energy market is changing radically. New sources, new ways of distribution and different customer expectations. Learn how energy brands can become more relevant and stay relevant in changing times.

Join other visionaries at CHARGE in Iceland in September. Meet people who are or will be shaping the world of energy, learn from the best in the field of energy branding. See the full list of speakers here.

Finalists for the 2018 CHARGE Awards announced

From an initial shortlist of 80 brands in 6 categories, the shortlist has been narrowed down to 20 finalists in 5 categories of the World’s Best Energy brands.

The finalists for the 2018 CHARGE Awards are:

Established: Alperia Energy, Innogy, Enmax, E.on, Helen
Challenger: Illumia, Powershop, Igloo Energy, easyEnergy, WATT + VOLT
Green: Burlington Electric, CleanChoice Energy, Bulb, Ekwateur
Transmission: Eirgrid, Fingrid, Enbridge
Product & Innovation: Tiko, Virta, THE FCTR E

Find out more about the awards and the nominees here.

The winners will be announced at the CHARGE Awards ceremonial dinner on the 24th of September in Reykjavik. The finalists will be honoured on stage at the conference on the 24th and the winners will participate in a panel discussion during the conference‘s second day.

We have a great variety of brands as finalists this year. Energy companies are taking their branding more and more seriously and are more consumer-centric. The European market has led Branding for energy companies in the past years but North-America has a strong presence this year.

– Dr. Fridrik Larsen, Chairman of CHARGE Energy Branding.

The initial shortlist of over 80 companies was created by a global panel of experts that work in or around the energy space as well as professionals in branding and advertising and from academia. The finalists in the three retail categories (Established, Challenger and Green) are evaluated both by customer research as well as how the panel scores their case study submissions. The categories of Product & Innovation and Transmission are evaluated by their submissions to the panel.

What to expect at the CHARGE Energy Branding Conference

It’s hard to find many conferences which offer inspiring keynotes from executives about branding in the energy industry, professionals giving insightful presentations on energy industry branding case studies or conferences which focus on how branding will determine the future of the industry and which companies will survive the changing times. It’s hard because CHARGE Energy Branding is the only venue in the world with a focus on branding in the energy sector. A hub of new ideas for energy where people from all over the world meet and discuss best practices.

The summer is here and CHARGE Energy Branding is just under 4 months away. We have already announced a majority of the speakers that will give invaluable insights at the Harpa Conference hall in September. We have been able to recruit visionaries, thought leaders and successful professionals from electric utilities, energy retailers, established incumbents, venture funds, non-profits, design, advertising, branding, marketing and communication.

Click the player below to hear testimonials from some of last year’s participants and have a glimpse of what was going on and what to expect from the CHARGE Energy Branding experience.

Gain insights and earn customer engagement

customer engagement energy utility marketing branding CHARGE Energy

Energy company branding is pretty simple at the core. The World’s Best Energy Brands have it in common to be able to identify segments in the market. The best brands offer their target groups specific offerings and give them tailor-made marketing message that gives the impression of a coherent brand-voice. Despite advances in technology – the core of marketing is still the 4P’s. But technology creates new ways to present the product, new places to sell it at and new ways to promote it. It also gives new ways to find out more about the consumer.

Learn more about energy branding and dig deep into branding case studies in the energy industry. Join us at CHARGE 2018 – the only utilities and energy conference that covers branding in the energy space!

Easy days are over

A major task of any company selling and marketing a product or a service is to really figure out what you are offering, to which potential customers and how you are different from everyone else on the market. This used to be a lot easier, a company would come up with a product and find the right segment was easy, husband, housewife, urban or rural. Then societal changes came along and these simple groups of consumers split up and new-sprung out. The teenager is more complex and people in their twenties are now of all ages.

Big Data helps

Energy utilities around the world are doing their best to know their customers which is the technical term for analyzing data and identifying patterns. Big data can, of course, provide great insights that are not easy to identify from interviews or surveys. But the downside is that energy companies often skip the part of getting to know their customers – the customers become blips on the screen that leave data points. Gathering large amounts of quantitative user data is relatively easy, it’s just a question of finding the right software and let the algorithms get to know the customers.

A good brand uses algorithms to gain better insight into the behaviour of the customer but in most cases, it is used to build upon knowledge that is founded on qualitative research that is more or less the foundations of the brand.

Don’t forget qualitative

Some might dismiss qualitative studies as anecdotal evidence or by simply pointing out that if Henry Ford would have asked people what they wanted, he would have made the horse cart faster. It is correct that you should not take focus groups or customers too literally, an active mind is needed to analyze what is said to you and form concrete principles – read between the lines and integrate truths.

Find out more

Artificial intelligence is yet to be able to do that. A good first step is asking oneself “what would I as a customer want from a provider?” and then asking the same question to people you know and see if there is something in common.

Find out more about how the Best Energy Brands identify and speak to their different segments in the report on the World’s Best Energy Brands which is available now. Including energy company case studies from around the world.

 

Energy brands and strategic vision

 

Retail energy strategy is about finding the right positioning and implementing it. Energy company branding is not simple for energy providers, positioning on the market requires a deep knowledge of how energy consumers behave and how the market can be disrupted. For incumbent utilities, this can be a difficult task since consumers have an already established idea of what the utility is and what it does and how it reacts. The utility company and the idea consumers have about it is changing, both with the entrance of smaller newcomers and changing technology.

The age of consumer choice in power markets

Power providers have been unbundled in most liberalised markets and the challenge for all participants in the market is to unlock customer value by creating brand value that gives the customer a reason to choose. Customers that have been indifferent towards their energy suppliers are slowly but surely responding to marketing programs and branding in the energy space. What has become the most common form of differentiation in market messages on the energy market has been a green positioning, focusing on the renewables that the energy provider can source for their customers.

Renewable Energy Strategies

Renewable energy strategies can vary, depending on the market and how customers on the market perceive renewables. In most countries, solar and wind are considered to be THE sources of renewable energy while sources such as nuclear and especially hydro are branded as sustainable or clean sources of electricity. While solar and wind are still sufficient to power regular homes, the technology is not just there in terms of scale and efficiency to give reliable power to large-scale industrial users. Many large companies are, however, demanding renewable energy to power their production or be the backbone of their services. It does not matter how green/renewable/sustainable/clean the source of the energy is. What matters is that the brand that is promoting the source of energy that it sells to its customers is also a sustainable brand. Being a sustainable brand is not about renewing the colour palette to reflect a greener colour.

Customer engagement strategy

The brands that are able to deliver results in connecting to the minds of consumers are the brands that are delivering a higher purpose. It is not just a matter of the cover – it is also about the contents inside. The truly effective energy brands are about changing the status quo. Effective brands set out to change the world. They identify gaps in the market by thinking like a consumer. Often they are founded by regular consumers that are fed up with the way things are done. From the start, these brands are equipped with a vision. Their strategic market entry is done by a narrow customer segmentation – by being focused on a niche market that they can expand further down the road.

Doing something new

The top companies for customer experience are not myopic about technology. Smart metering is an add-on to the experience but it can not the solution to everything. If a brand is not well crafted and lacks strategy and vision, the execution of the possibilities of smart metering will at best become awkward. Utility analytics and customer engagement metrics are a valuable add-on for the energy marketer and anyone interested in maintaining a brand. Smart metering enables customer engagement metrics and smart customer service but customer engagement and loyalty do not come automatically with smart meters and smart meter data. People engage with brands – not technology. Technology enables further customer engagement in energy and it can help customer segmentation. But technology and user interface must be appealing and easy for customers. To be able to make it easy for customers, companies need a good user interface and to be able to design a good user interface, energy companies need to be able to understand the end customer.

The Future of Energy

The future of energy is customer choice. Customers are already able to choose a supplier in deregulated markets but energy consumers around the world are already able to choose if they bypass the regulated monopolies altogether through microgrids, their own rooftop solar or other ways of localised small-scale production of energy. The future of energy is in the hands of the consumer and the energy companies that are able to build their value proposition according to the needs of the consumers will own the future.

 

 

 

Making sustainable energy relatable

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CHARGE Energy Branding 2017

At CHARGE, we try to bring to the table the best practices in Energy Branding and give a glimpse at what the best energy companies in the world are doing in terms of customer engagement and making their products and services more tangible by relating to the customer on human terms.

A part of the conference has focused on how companies are branding green outside the energy space. Companies that are focusing on sustainability are not only looking at becoming clean energy brands or branding green electricity by letting the customer know that they are using the best green energy in the world to make their products or services. They are looking at how they can cut costs by being sustainable. Being sustainable can often cut electricity used or energy consumed.

It is often the case that it is not the sustainability itself or being good for the planet that increases brand value in itself. As it has been discussed at the energy conference, consumers are often inadvertently interested in energy itself and how companies are sourcing their green energy. The clean energy coming from the rooftop of the store you are shopping at creates some value in the mind of the customer. Energy marketing conference is one way to put it, it is not only about energy retailers trying to catch the attention of the customer – branding or marketing energy is also a way for retailers or manufacturers to tell a unique story to the customers. And in a way, it is a green energy conference although it is just one of many topics discussed. It is a utilities and energy conference in the widest sense. Sustainability is an energy issue in one way or another. It reflects on how companies can become sustainable on the balance sheet by behaving thrifty when it comes to energy consumption. And by telling that story, brands can increase their value in the mind of the consumer.

Hosting the conference in Iceland means that it is the perfect place for a global energy event. The country is known for its production of clean, renewable energy – both hydro and geothermal. Being placed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Iceland is also the perfect place to bring together key decision makers together for an executive forum of people from all over the world. The energy space is often localised due to historical reasons and although the borders dividing the energy space are shrinking fast – there is a lot to learn from each other.

Join us in Reykjavik, Iceland where CHARGE will be hosted for the third time in September 2018. It will be one of the most memorable energy conferences of 2018. Iceland is exotic yet accessible with daily direct flights to three continents.