When we asked a group of marketing and communications leaders at the Fall 2018 E Source Utility MarCom Executive Council to describe current utility brand attributes, we heard words like reliable, safe, and low cost.
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October 17, 2018

What Will the Future Utility Brand Look Like?

When we asked a group of marketing and communications leaders at the Fall 2018 E Source Utility MarCom Executive Council to describe current utility brand attributes, we heard words like reliable, safe, and low cost. But when we asked them to think about what brand attributes would allow utilities to thrive in the next decade, their descriptions started to change.

Quote saying: Reliability is just table stakes now. Millennials take it for granted.
Quote saying: We will need to figure out how to personalize our offerings. Now, we have pretty much a one-size fits all approach.

These words and phrases populated the list of future brand attributes: authentic, socially responsible, empathetic, customer-centric, control, choice, and partner. It’s clear that most utilities envision a high-touch relationship with their customers, one in which the utility would help its customers succeed in numerous ways—from providing connected homes and clean power solutions to improved business productivity.

Brand promise examples for the utility of the future

Toward the end of our workshop, we had participants develop future brand promises based on customers’ emerging priorities. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Customer-driven, community-focused
  • Delivering a clean, connected energy world for all
  • Delivering a bright future
  • Energy for who you are

Note that not all of them refer to the utility or energy. Rather, we see an emphasis on anticipating and serving customers’ needs, whether those needs are clean energy, connected devices, or personalized service.

Resources you can access now

Our report Reinventing the Utility Brand Experience: Starbucks or Just Plain Coffee? dives into how you can learn from major brands like Apple and Starbucks to reinvent your brand.

Listen to a recording from an E Source web conference, Rethink, Reinvent, and Reposition Your Utility Brand for the Twenty-First Century, featuring brand expert Fridrik Larsen to learn how to actively shape and differentiate your brand in the utility market.

Let’s talk about how E Source can help you shape your brand by understanding future customer wants and needs.

Contact us today

About the author

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BILL LEBLANC

Chief Instigation Agent

Bill LeBlanc previously served the business as vice president for marketing, vice president for consulting, and vice president for research. He’s also president of the Boulder Energy Group. Bill has more than 20 years of experience in strategic marketing, new product development, pricing, market research, and demand-side management as well as social marketing. He focuses on helping utilities understand the intersection between the customer and the utility’s products and services, and specializes in maximizing marketing effectiveness. Bill holds a BS and an MS in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and a BA in management economics from Claremont McKenna College.

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Let us know what you think. If you want to weigh in or chat about this topic, just email Sannie Sieper, E Source director of marketing.

Contributing Authors

Chief Instigation Agent

Bill LeBlanc previously served the business as vice president for Marketing, vice president for Consulting, and vice president for Research. He’s...