FROM UNCARING ELECTRICITY GIANT TO THE MOST LIKED ENERGY COMPANY
E.ON operates in the low interest energy category. When it came to us in 2015, it was stuck in a cycle of communicating price and energy efficiency. In addition to leaving them vulnerable to media discussions about electricity grids and energy bill charges, its communication was scattered with low brand recognition and a lack of clarity – both internally and externally. There was little direction without a clear, relevant concept. They needed to fill the brand with value to break away from a low-interest category whilst coordinate a multifaceted business in a time of great change.
THE BRUTALLY SIMPLE SOLUTION
The energy industry suffers from lack of trust, and many consumers feel energy companies only care about money" The picture of E.ON was one of a faceless, uncaring German utility giant. It affected business, and something special was needed to change this. The ambition was to first create internal pride, and then increase recognition and achieve a positive Brand Index (which had been minus for both E.ON and its competitors for several years).
E.ON didn’t just need a new communications concept, it needed a whole new direction – something that could unite employees as well breaking category and work consistently across all businesses, companies and target audiences.
We knew likability is crucial in low-interest categories, and we saw a trend among the target groups, which was increasingly relevant: 76% had “some” or “great” interest in sustainability. So we produced a simple guiding star for E.ON around the promise to become 100% renewable by 2025. No small goal, as it would change the entire company’s business and focus. Together with E.ON, we prepared a carefully designed internal launch to get everyone on-board. Then we released the communication concept, "Let’s renew Sweden", externally. A host of activities explained how people switching to E.ON could harness the power of nature – not live at its expense. It created a ripple in Sweden spawning many small and larger stories about one huge change.
For the corporate market, the sub-concept was created “Let’s renew Sweden's companies”. Internally, we highlighted key employees in playful ways through: "Meet the people who renew Sweden".
THE RESULT: A DRAMATIC MEASURABLE CHANGE
The effects were greater than we had dared to hope for. Internal pride grew. And when employees were asked what they were most proud of about E.ON, 95% mentioned the work on renewing Sweden. And recognition went from 40% before the concept to as high as 82%.
In the first year, E.ON was the first of the three major energy companies to achieve a positive Brand Index for a full year. And year three ended with a Brand Index at 4.2! The best since the measurements had started. At the same time as E.ON's largest competitors remained in minus territory.
In February 2018, the goal to become the most liked energy company was realised. We had managed to renew E.ON both inside and out, while at the same time renewing Sweden.
Through a clear insight and tackling a bigger issue than just producing communication, we succeeded in moving E.ON from being an uncaring German electricity giant to the most liked energy company – and catalyse one of the biggest changes to sustainable energy in Sweden ever.
POSITIVE BRAND ASSOCIATION