We’ve been thinking a lot recently about what things will be like in a hundred years.
It’s a strange but thought-provoking item to consider.
And while thinking about the next 100 years has started conversations and given us a sense of optimism about the opportunities in front of current and future generations, we cannot help but simultaneously wonder: What about the next 10 years? Five years?
Image Credit: Gaelle Marcel
What will the infrastructure look like?
We’re pretty sure you know the answer, because you’ve already been working on the clean energy technology of the future, today. Right now. Distributed energy resources. Demand response programs. Microgrids, energy storage, strategic electrification, energy management. EVs as virtual power plants. And all the other technology that is just as critical to building out future infrastructure: artificial intelligence, augmented reality and voice technology, just to name a few of the many components setting the stage for the clean energy future.
The Global Climate Strike is a month behind us. Fully 7.6 million people participated to demand action on the climate crisis. Our youth leaders left with a warning: we will be watching. More than 85 major companies announced that they are committing to science-based carbon emission reduction targets. The world around us is changing quickly, and is demanding the technology to draw down carbon emissions.
And customers are ready for this new wave of energy technology. Millennials and Gen Z audiences have spent the last several years, and will spend the decades following, eager for the next best way to consume energy. They are renters, homeowners, new parents, newly married, newly graduated. These are the customers who have become accustomed to digitization, customization, connectivity and “smart” everything. They don’t understand why automation wouldn’t be used to change a business practice, and simultaneously want that automation to still be personalized to them. These digital natives are ready to take on demand management in their lives, if the tools are available to them.
The problem is that the technology of the future, and the clean energy future itself, takes time to build, deploy and get invested in. And while you’re working on that, you still have present-day responsibilities to contend with: businesses that still need to operate. Customers with immediate problems that need to get solved. Websites that need maintaining. Employees who need support.
Do your customers know that you’re building out their future? That you’re committed to improving the infrastructure that surrounds them while simultaneously working to improve their day-to-day lives?
They want to hear about your progress, even if it is uncertain and just that: progress. The transparency that comes with bringing them along with you on your clean energy journey is fundamental to increasing brand trust, which helps to increase brand engagement, which in turn keeps them primed and ready to buy into, adopt and utilize the services and products you’re working to improve. Fundamentally, brand trust prevents them from abandoning you in favor of your competitor, who might be further along in their clean energy journey or simply better at communicating their progress.
The point is, in the eyes of your customers—the millennials and Gen Zers and yes, the baby boomers thinking about the world and legacy they’re leaving in their wake—failing to communicate that you’re committed to making progress is just the same as not making any progress at all.
It adds another box to check on your already too-long to-do list, but it’s necessary. Unsure of how to communicate the steps your company is taking to build a better future? Here are a few simple, easy-to-implement quick wins:
- Add a three-sentence sustainability update in your monthly (or bimonthly, or quarterly) newsletter update.
- Commit to a simple content series: one social media post a month that features information on the steps your company is taking to move toward a clean energy future.
- This step is a two-for-one: it informs customers of your progress and automatically increases the opportunities for content building and creation.
- Add an update in your company email signature: Update it at regular intervals and rest easy knowing that every time you send an email, your company’s commitment to a better future is evident.
Want a deeper dive into building brand trust with your customers? We’re here to help. Drop us a line.