Tag Archives: energy branding

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.

 

 

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.

Challenges of a decentralised energy market

The energy industry is changing faster now than it has ever before. These changes can in many cases be traced to the focus on renewable energy sources and energy decentralisation. With pressure from lawmakers, energy companies have been changing their energy mix to increase the use of renewable or sustainable energy sources.

Renewable energy branding has changed – it is becoming less of a differentiation for an energy company to offer a high percentage of renewable energy to customers. What has also changed is what customers expect to see from their energy companies in terms of customer service and engagement. It is more important now than ever before for energy market segmentation of customers – especially with more and more consumers in the energy market becoming prosumers. This is why energy companies have a focus on renewable energy and customer relations.

The most effective ways of communicating with energy consumers can be through content marketing, storytelling, advertising or direct contact but it the most important and effective way for communications to become successful is by building a strong brand with a coherent voice as a trusted source of information. People connect to brands.

Energy decentralisation can have two meanings but both of those meanings have had an impact on the energy sector. The decentralisation of the market in general, or deregulation or liberalisation, has meant that some market territories are no longer controlled by a monopoly which produces, transmits, distributes and sells electricity to an end consumer. Markets have been changed in order to increase competition in the retail and generation areas.

This has created new challenges for energy companies. When the consumer has a choice – he is more likely to choose the brand which speaks his language and connects to him in more ways than just supplying energy to the sockets.  This is not only causing a change in the retail sector – new brands that have been established around the transmission part and the distribution parts of the power systems have become more effective in brand-building and communicating to customers and other stakeholders. They have found out that branding is not only a proven way to communicate with the public but also to help people inside the organisations to communicate with each other. Branding has proven to be a valuable tool in breaking the silo mentality within organisations.

Energy decentralisation can also refer to new technologies enabling consumers to produce their own energy. Instead of energy coming from a centralised energy plant, it is all the sudden flowing from the rooftops of homes and small-scale windmills at farms. This addition to the power mix is not only changing the way people think of energy by bringing the production closer to home but is also changing the way energy companies are approaching the market with new strategies.

Electricity brands, in retail, transmission and distribution have had to find new ways to engage with those customers who are able to get energy off-grid. These customers are not only self-sufficient with their energy usage but are also selling power to the grid. This means a whole new means of communications. The average consumer is not an expert in terms familiar to people in the energy space – there is a need for a common language for energy companies and consumers to have their engagements in.

Energy company branding is an important topic for the changing times in the energy sector. Energy utilities are aware of the fact that they are not dealing with meter points but people of flesh and blood that need a deeper, more emotional connection than before.

 

Discovering Hydropower

CHARGE Energy Branding looks at different energy sources from the branding angle – how different sources of energy can be used by utilities to engage better with people.

Dr Fridrik Larsen, the chairman of CHARGE has been invited as a social influencer by Voith Hydro to visit hydropower plants in Portugal, Scotland and Iceland, along with three other experts in the energy field. The aim of the trip is to help people discover Hydropower and

Companies in the energy sector could use the source of their energy as a part of their branding – both figuratively when people are buying electrons but also literally when possible.

It’s not hard to look at hydropower from a branding perspective. Hydropower is often overlooked as a renewable energy source. While solar and wind have received all the glory since the turn of the century, hydro has mostly been left out of the discussion.

  • Hydropower is one of the most attractive sources of renewable energy

  • One-sixth of all energy in the world is produced by Hydropower

  • Eighty per cent of all renewable energy in the world comes from Hydro

Hydro is the original energy source of the de-carbonisation of electricity. Hydro plants were also one of the first off-the-grid power sources. The reservoir of a hydro powerplant is a giant battery which helps balance the output of the plant. So hydro was there long before the trends and has been balancing the grid for over a century.

You can follow the adventure by following the hashtag #DiscoverHydropower or follow Fridrik on Twitter, his handle is @fridriklarsen If you have any questions before or during the trip, you can either tweet at him there or send your question in a direct message.

If you want to know more about Voith Hydro – or are simply interested in photos of hydropower plants, you should click the following links:

About Voith

http://www.voith.com/corp-en/industry-solutions/hydropower.html

Pumped storage

http://voith.com/corp-en/industry-solutions/hydropower/pumped-storage-plants.html

Small hydro

http://voith.com/corp-en/industry-solutions/hydropower/small-hydro.html

Sponsored content

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.

A shared language for smart energy

We focus on helping the energy industry to communicate efficiently with the tools of branding. An obstacle for the energy industry and the clean energy industry is to translate highly technical terms into a relatable language. It is a challenge for an industry focused on engineering and innovation to communicate to people outside the sector but it can also be a challenge for people within the industry to communicate with people in other sectors of the industry and for different systems to speak a common language.

“If smart integrated energy infrastructures should make sense, it is necessary to find a standard language […] used in residential installations so that different systems can seamlessly communicate together to exploit any surplus or loss of energy throughout the smart energy system between energy producers and distributors.” Benny Hansen, ABB

Smart Energy and the Smart City are not only the concern of vendors and city officials but require the participation of regular people, the end customer. The democratisation of energy with distributed generation and prosumers are only an example of how Smart Energy is much more than smart lighting and smart thermostats. The Clean Energy Industry is becoming aware of the interplay between marketing and energy in general and energy company branding in particular.

A CHARGE Energy Branding event will take place in Copenhagen on the 25th of May, focusing on how we can create a shared language to communicate smart energy. A smart language that is easily understood by stakeholders within the industry and outside of the industry. The event is one of many utilities and energy events related to the Nordic Clean Energy Week and is one of the events that take place in the Energy Experience in Nordhavn.

Speakers

Dr. Fridrik Larsen brings a theoretical angle and practical experience on how a common understanding of simple words is important and why branding energy creates value for all stakeholders.

Jane Mortensen, City & Port – Copenhagen Municipality brings the perspective of the owners/ municipality on effective communication.

“In collaboration with City, Suppliers, Technicians and Development, the Energy Lab Nordhavn demo platform has succeed in creating synergy between the diverse partners and testing new technology in new city areas”. – Jane Mortensen

Kristian Honoré from HOFOR has the perspective of the Energy Planner. He has the experience on how different energy forms play together, the challenges and how a common understanding can be important for integration.

”In the EnergyLab Nordhavn project SMART energy services and innovation is deliberately challenged by daily operations, legislation and resilience – and vice versa – to pave the way for new and realistic solutions and products”. – Kristian Honoré

Rune Kirt from KIRTxTHOMSEN brings examples of how to create a common language in complex energy tech and clean tech projects in research and development.

“Innovation circles in energy are long and costly. High technical complexity and many stakeholders/partners in early R&D often lead to a lack of shared understanding. Customized visualizations can make everyone on the same page fast, thus bridging the gap between technology and business, engineering and management, ideas and money. Aligning key stakeholders from early stage and throughout the process”. – Rune Kirt

Martin Gammeltoft from Activity Stream is experienced in working with clear and accessible communication. He will share stories on what works in communicating technical language to many different external stakeholders.

Where: Energy.Hub Nordhavn (Directions)
When: Friday, May 25th at 9:00 – 10:30

Attendance is free but registration is required through the form here.

 

 

 

Next level Energy Branding

The best brands in the energy sector work hard, deliver superior value, look outside the energy space, segment their customers, are data driven and are on a mission of changing the status quo.

By reviewing the branding case studies from the World’s Best Energy Brands we have learned a great deal about how the best energy brands in the world view themselves and how energy company branding can go to the next level. There is a common thread among the best energy brands in the world. It does not only apply to the competitive retail sector – it also applies to the regulated energy sectors both in retail, transmission of electricity, distribution of electricity and it should apply to B2B energy retail companies as well as generation companies.

There are no shortcuts towards a superior brand

People often wonder if there is a good life-hack or a shortcut to achievement. So, is there a good life-hack for creating a good brand in the energy sector? The short answer is: No – there are no shortcuts. Creating a good energy brand takes a great deal of effort. Even if you know the secret to creating the very best power brand in the world and even if you were born with the secret to energy marketing in your head – creating, implementing and running an effective brand in the energy sector is still hard work.

 

The best Energy Brands offer something else than energy

They offer an experience. They have a simple message about the benefit they offer that no one else offers. And the benefit is usually not the price or being able to deliver electricity on time. It’s usually a feeling in the mind of the consumer that they own. Apple and Nike are well-known branding and marketing reference point clichés for a reason. They own a share of the consumer’s mind – and that is what you need to own a share of the market.

They look outside the energy box

The best brands are not focused on the next door utility neighbour and try to copy their best practices. Although many brands in the global energy market are doing great things branding vice, the best brands in the world are not found in the energy space. You should look outside the box and identify who is the best in the world and learn from them and apply it to the energy sector and your market. Don’t think about which brand is the best employer brand amongst energy companies – look for the best employer brand in the world. Don’t just try to learn from the best customer service brand among utilities, look for the company that offers the best customer service period.

The best energy brands use segmentation tools

It’s almost impossible to be like by everyone. Instead, you should use the appropriate tools to segment the market. The most simple tool to use is demographics. But you can’t go in blind and decide to be the brand for single women aged 26-37 living in a certain area with this high yearly revenue. You need to know why this group is the right one for your brand and your value offering. It is often said that typical demographical groups are dead – people can’t be put into categories based on gender, age or where they live. There are multiple tools that segment that market based on more things than on demographics. Find the groups that your brand speaks to and figure out how to speak to them.

The best energy brands are customer oriented

Customer engagement is not about smart gadgets. It comes naturally when a brand speaks to the customers on a personal level and connects to them on an emotional level. The smart gadgets help but if there is nothing that connects to the customer other than a socket on the wall or some hardware, then there is no chance of communication. The best brands have created an emotional value that can be hard for competitors to compete with.

The best energy brands measure up

We have established that good branding is about knowing the customer. But good branding is about knowing yourself. What you stand for and what your brand is capable to do. But you need to know where your brand stands and where it stands in the minds of your customers. The best energy brands are constantly measuring how they are doing and benchmarking with other brands. They are not afraid to reach out proactively to customers and ask them what they think – this is not done once a year – it can be once a month or even once a week.

The best brands are on a mission

They offer superior brand value by offering something unique and different from others in the sector. That superior value stems from a specific brand mission – they are not just selling energy – they are often trying to change the world. A good example of good branding is in the green energy sector. Today, almost every supplier has started to become green. So green has become the new black in energy and it’s hard to differentiate based on the green origin of the energy alone. Superior green brands today have to dig deeper and be sustainable to the core and offer customers a buy-in towards a vision of the future.