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Is branding & marketing important for the decentralized renewable energy sector?

The focus of the energy market in emerging countries, as in the West, is moving fast from distribution to competition. In the new energy market, the hope is to democratize energy, switching the vision of the “beneficiaries or receivers” to “end consumer”, empowering them and, ultimately, giving them the freedom of choice.

Rarely has an industry experienced such a profound period of change and transition as the energy sector. What does this mean for energy brands? How can energy companies ensure that they communicate efficiently and effectively? Is there even a need for brands in our industry? And most important, as we work in rural electrification, a sector with such a high demand…

Is branding and marketing really relevant for the decentralized renewable energy (DRE) sector?

Well, decentralized energy is now recognized as an essential part of the solution to the challenge of ensuring a low-carbon, sustainable and secure energy future. And more and more countries and regions around the world are recognizing that it is imperative they invest in greater decentralized energy development.

The democratization of energy through local generation is especially important in rural settings in developing countries such as India. As a result, many players have emerged in servicing the poor and the rural as the new clients. But the focus of the energy market, as in the West, is moving fast from distribution to competition. In the new energy market, the hope is to democratize energy, i.e. letting the consumer decide who they want it from, what should be the source and at what price, switching the vision of the “beneficiaries or receivers” to “end consumer”, empowering them and, ultimately, giving them the freedom of choice. We envision a sector where villages and local communities can decide their energy autarky and choose their source of energy, their “distributor” and to whom to franchise to.

With this landscape, DRE providers need to sell an attractive proposition and position themselves as the best option, well for the overall impact on the community, reliability, affordability, environmental protection or associated services. The most effective way of communicating with our potential investors and end consumers is through a well-designed, strong brand and with a well-defined marketing strategy. Powerful energy brands open new opportunities for utilities to connect to consumers' minds and earn a share of their heart.

Due to the increasing importance of branding and marketing in our sector and to be prepared for the future of the industry, we invite you to join us in Iceland in September where CHARGE - the world’s first Energy Branding Conference will be held. Hosted in beautiful Reykjavik on 19-20 September, 2016, it will focus on the future of energy in a consumer-driven world, and the importance of effective and efficient branding.

The conference will introduce the concept of energy branding and the advantages branding conveys to the energy space. Together with hundreds of other stakeholders of the competitive energy industry, the event aims to be a platform for networking and learning best practices on energy branding, from generation to transmission and distribution and the perception of the end user. We hope to be inspired and get out of there with a lot of critical lessons to implement at Oorja.

Delegates from Europe, USA and Asia have already signed up and the conference will be addressed by top thought leaders in the industry including Maik Neubauer (CEO of First Utility GmbH / Shell PrivatEnergie), Sabine Schmittwilken (Head of group brand communications at RWE), Martin Stadler (Director of Edenspiekermann). Additional eminent speakers who have confirmed their attendance are leading branding experts, Dr. Kevin Keller (Dartmouth University), Jim Rogers (fmr. CEO of Duke Energy), Ryan O’Keeffe (Director of communications at Enel) and many more.

Please visit http://branding.energy/ for detailed information on the conference.

Hope to see you in Iceland in September to witness the future of the industry take a new shape.

Written by Rose Chaparro

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