Npower bids to become ‘true retailer’

Npower is planning to ape the marketing strategies of brands such as Marks and Spencer and John Lewis to become a retail focused brand and focus less on sport sponsorship as it confirms it will not renew its Football League sponsorship.

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Npower is looking to shift its marketing away from sport sponsorship to be a retail-focused brand.

The energy firm says the decision not to renew its three-year deal with the League was made after reviewing its business strategy and looking at costs across the business. It adds the sports property no longer fits with its plans to become the market leader in customer experience by 2015.

The company has hired branding experts Interbrand and BrandRapport to help shape its marketing strategy over the next year. It claims the revised approach will take inspiration from how retail brands such as Marks and Spencer and John Lewis have developed multichannel services. Npower will create online content to help people understand their bills as well as developing its ecommerce offering.

The business hopes to allow people to order, review and pay for services across multiple devices by developing a more integrated customer journey.

Additionally, the company is also expanding its analytics team to gather deeper insight on bill payers in a bid to accelerate the strategy.

Debbie Britton, director of customer marketing at Npower, told Marketing Week: “We are a retail business so the same things customers would expect if they were shopping in M&S or John Lewis will be the equivalent to what they get from us in the future. The way customers can order services online, receive engaging content, receive personalised services. These are all things we’re working on delivering now.”

The renewed focus from energy firms on customer service comes at a time when impending regulation on tariffs could force companies to be competitive on service rather than price.

Npower’s announcement follows news the Football League is in danger of starting of next season without a title sponsor because it is struggling to find a backer willing to meet a revised annual fee.

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