Does the energy industry need branding?

As competition increases in the energy industry, being able to stand out will become even more important.

About 10 years ago Fridrik Larsen, who has a PhD in energy branding and works with the Icelandic CHARGE organisation, began doing research on the brands of energy industry operators. Larsen settled on the energy industry because he found that it was one of the fastest changing sectors on a global basis. He also runs Larsen Energy Branding, a company that helps energy industry operators build a corporate image.
CHARGE held its second energy industry branding conference this year.

“Energy companies can stand out from their competitors in many ways. Certain matters, such as service and operational reliability are generally handled well. A company can also try to create its own recognisable operating method – a brand. It can be modern or fun, or almost anything else,” outlines Larsen.

“It’s a good idea to study the market and look for an area where none of the competitors stand out yet. For example, one company is known for the fact that is works with electric cars,” explains Larsen.
Many companies rely on green values. According to Larsen, green is a challenging concept.
“Customers understand green in such different ways. For some, nuclear power is green while for others the opposite is true.”

A good brand means success

Larsen says that many energy industry operators are still quite unfamiliar with branding. A lot of companies don’t understand how important it is and operate without a clear idea of their own special quality.

“People might think that branding means external things, like logos and colours. Skilful branding goes deeper into a company’s operating methods.”
Larsen emphasises that brands are not built for appearances, but purely for money. A good brand helps the company succeed in increasingly tough competition. •


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