E.ON launches new marketing strategy in bid to become purpose-led brand

E.ON hopes the new strategy focused on renewable energy and “creating a better tomorrow” will improve consumer perceptions of the energy sector.

E.ON has overhauled its brand and communications strategy in a bid to keep up with changing consumer needs and be seen as a more “purpose-led” brand.

To launch the new strategy, the energy brand has unveiled a new digital campaign in collaboration with music act Gorillaz, which sees the band harness the sun’s energy to create a solar and battery storage powered music studio and will run across seven European markets including the UK. The campaign looks to promote E.ON’s new ‘solar and storage’ technology offering.

E.ON’s global head of brand and customer communications, Emma Inston, says the strategy had to evolve due to “changing consumer needs” and because it is keen to adopt a “leadership position” when it comes to renewable energy solutions.

“Energy is changing, people have much more choice about where it comes from and how they use it. This is us being a purpose-led brand and showing we strive for new developments in energy, whether that’s solar or electric vehicle charging,” she tells Marketing Week.

Inston admits the sector has struggled with negative consumer perceptions and has typically been a “low interest category”, but believes its focus on renewables will create a more positive association.

And this is needed. YouGov BrandIndex figures show that brand Impression, which asks consumers if they have a general positive or negative feeling about the brand, has seen a “statistically significant” year-on-year decline. It is currently placed 44th out of a list of 48 utilities and services brands.

Inston says the brand is also looking to make its ads stand out in the sector by “communicating the brand in a distinctive way rather than a me-too way”.

“In some sectors, it seems like ads are all the same. For example, with automotives there is always a car swooping through a green valley. It’s the same with energy, so we wanted to take a challenger brand mentality to disrupt the category, and talk to people in a different way,” she explains.

Going forward, E.ON is keen to stick to its new brand promise to “create a better tomorrow” by developing new technologies such as electric vehicle charging or becoming part of the ‘connected home’. Its future campaigns will also reflect this, Inston says.

She concludes: “We’ve got a range of new solutions, so we will do separate campaigns promoting each one. We will definitely start to communicate in a different way.”