Branding: How to be creative in the utilities sector
Being creative market leaders in some industries seems like an impossible task. Promoting and branding your products and services when they aren’t ‘sexy’ is no marketer’s dream. However, there are ways to make yourself stand out in these sectors. We’re talking to you, businesses in the utilities sector…
The services you provide are fairly in-depth, technical, and for the most part, quite difficult to communicate. There are always regulations that need to be adhered to, stakeholders you need to communicate with, the public to be informed, and targets to meet. Getting your message across in an engaging, creative way can be tricky, so we’ve pulled together a few quick tips to help you tackle your utilities branding:
- Know your Audience
Your audience changes very regularly; one day you might be speaking to a member of parliament in regard to renewable energy solutions, the next day you might be speaking to a family of four advising them on the best way to manage a bill.
You’ll need to adapt your style and language for each, employing the best ways to speak to them. An easy assumption to make is that you need to be really technical, but this is not always best practice. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that everyone will understand your product or service.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Improving your NPS score (the measurement of a customer’s willingness to recommend your product or service) year on year should be a major goal. Keep asking yourself “how likely are we to be recommended?” in the back of your mind with everything that you do and let your initiatives grow from this.
- Communicate the basics
Do not over complicate things. On a day-to-day basis you will not always be discussing technical issues such as a DNS to DSO strategy (power now coming from multiple sources rather than singular). For the most part, the public doesn’t know what you actually do or on some occasions know that you exist, start by educating them on this, and allow the conversations to develop from this base.
- Create Personality
You are working in a very technical environment; however, this does not mean that you have to be cold and uninviting. All companies are built by people, so it’s important that the personality of your business is conveyed to the customer. By doing this, they will be more engaged and perceptive to your brand. Allow them to see the people they’ll be interacting with.
- Consider different platforms
“It’s the way we’ve always done it” won’t serve you well. Change things up; look at using new platforms and mediums to speak to your audience. A younger generation have become more prevalent and are in need of your services expecting multiple communication channels. Find out where they spend their time online and ensure that your message is always being heard.
- Don’t settle for ticking a box
Show that you go above and beyond for your customers and stakeholders. You need to demonstrate that you’ve listened to feedback and that you have reacted accordingly. Showing this adaptability and championing positive change is without a doubt the best way to improve your NPS score. For example, you may be required to commission an annual report, find out from the previous year’s documents what people responded to best/didn’t respond to, and use this for growth. The longer you can hold someone’s attention the more likely it is that your information will be absorbed, keep this simple and visually appealing.
- Identify your weaknesses
Do what you do well and do it well, there is no need to cover every single base. The utilities sector is a fast-paced, ever-changing environment. If you don’t have a marketing department, outsource this function. If you have a design team who keep producing the same looking content, seek out a second opinion.
Blumilk are a multi-award-winning brand, reputation and campaigns agency for the utilities sector and has been helping solve business challenges for over 20 years. At Blumilk, we specialise in strategic brand, campaign, regulatory, and overall reputation projects for clients within the utilities sector and are driven by a team of world-class creatives and strategists. Together we generate solutions that make a real difference for our clients.
If you are in the utility sector and want to ensure that your communications are engaging your audience, or just need advice on the best ways to meet your goals we are always available for a chat. Please contact 0191 249 8384 or firstname.lastname@example.org