The Secret Marketer: What if the lights go out?

This week I have been updating my firm’s ‘risk register’ which is something that most big companies have but it is questionable just how much effort really goes into creating it, despite the monthly/quarterly requests to update your respective entries. 

Secret Marketer

My experience is that when unmentionable things hit the fan, most people run around like headless chickens, rather than calmly looking at what has been captured about said eventuality.

My entries contain the usual competitor moves, customers’ changing behaviour, and potential service failings leading to PR nightmares… but it hit me that possibly the biggest issue is one that few of us ever worry about. What happens if the lights go out – literally?

Last week, after one of the bigger storms of recent memory, parts of the country woke up to trees upturned, garden fences awry and power lines down. For many – especially in rural areas – there were power cuts lasting 18 hours or more. At the same time, the media is speculating that electricity generation might fall short this winter as various plants
go offline for maintenance. Meanwhile, everyone is moaning about the soaring cost of energy.

Anyway, back to the storm. Most people had gas – but needed electricity to light it. They had water, too, but needed power for the showers. Posher people have security gates, but these tend to lock shut in a power cut. Landline phones and Wi-Fi routers weren’t much use either.

Many of us had smartphones, which ran out of juice after a few hours’ constant use. And people who kept their files ‘in the cloud’ were stuffed.

It does make you think how reliant we have become on electricity, a resource that in recent years has been rising exponentially in price. In many ways, it has become the lifeblood of our civilisation. Of all the services we receive, electricity is the one that you really cannot do without. And at a time when the energy brands are getting a bashing, I wonder whether this is something they should be reminding their customers about?

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