We recently hit the road and talked to consumers about buying appliances. The process. How they handle it. What they look for. And how they relate it to energy efficiency. (WATCH some of the clips here.)
What else did we hear?
- “There are a lot of things we’d like to do, but it’s too overwhelming.”
- “I get a headache watching all those TVs with the same channel on. It’s mind boggling.”
- “Customers end up confusing themselves. They’re just looking at this sea of refrigerators…”
So, how do we sell efficiency in a way that simplifies this overly complicated shopping experience? (Shopping should be fun, especially if it’s something that will directly improve your home… Right?!)
We need to address consumer demands as a package deal. We need to understand that people are not solely seeking energy efficiency. They’re seeking an end result through a unique list of features. And energy efficiency is merely one of them. (We’re lucky it’s finally on the list!)
I’m in the market for a new car, so forgive the car analogy, but it’s interesting to compare the two industries. What do people want most out of a car?
- Good mileage
- Good price
- The perfect style
- Enough seats to fit the car seat(s) (and the dog!)
- TVs to entertain the kids
- Sirius radio (I’m a commuter!)
The list is unique for each of us. But no one’s list is strictly based on mileage. Or efficiency. It’s one of many features.
We have to recognize this, in order to simplify the appliance buying process. (Car companies have nailed this. We love this ad.)
ENERGY STAR also serves as a terrific example.
What we admire most: The brand addresses consumer demands.
Did you know the actual certification criteria for ENERGY STAR respond to some of customers’ top barriers when it comes to EE program participation and/or purchases?
Among others, certified products must meet these requirements:
- “… Offer savings on energy bills without sacrificing performance, features, and comfort.”
- “… Deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.”
The little blue label is a strong example of what a brand promise should be when inspiring the EE customer to act. The ENERGY STAR “guarantee” is centered around what your customer wants, and that’s more than just lowering their energy bill.
For an industry largely measured by J.D Power Scores and customer satisfaction, why is there not a more balanced message when it comes to energy efficiency marketing?
Are you responsive to consumer demands? Are customers satisfied with your current “promises” and messaging? Or are you focused on only one “promise” and expecting customers to take action?
KSV has more than a decade's experience communicating about energy efficiency programs and products. Maybe we can help you. Get in touch with Lauren Bell to talk about your current challenges and opportunities, and we'll work on some solutions.
KSV's 2015 consumer research has also been featured on: Utility Dive, Fortnightly, Energy Central, Intelligent Utility and Energy Efficiency Markets.
Lauren Bell / Engagement Manager / 802.862.8261 / firstname.lastname@example.org