How do you make energy efficiency desirable in the consumer electronics category? Since 85% of all televisions and computers are now Energy Star approved, not only is it a non-consideration at purchase, but it presents a differentiation problem for those highly energy efficient machines that are doing most of the heavy lifting.
We created and launched the new innovation sub-brand, Energy Forward, to live under the Energy Star umbrella, which identifies those models that go beyond the Energy Star cost of entry to attain the highest energy efficiency rating possible.
From 2009 through 2010 alone, the initiative saved the region enough energy to power more than 10,000 homes for a year.
Our consumer research corroborated what we already suspected — that energy efficiency was not only a non-consideration for consumer electronics shoppers, but that we would have no hope at appealing to their sense of environmental responsibility or cost savings in trying to make it one. Recognizing their fears of obsolescence, and desires for covet-worthy innovation, we built the case for advanced energy efficiency as advanced engineering.
The new brand mark needed to signal technological progressiveness, feel familiar, tap into fears of obsolescence, and be memorable. By keeping it simple and tapping into the familiar language of video and technology, we gain built-in meaning and memorability. The brand colors signal innovation rather than the tried and tired green and blue visual language of energy efficiency and environmental responsibility.
Partnering with retailers to seed the initiative on Black Friday, we developed a comprehensive suite of in-store promotional tactics, signage and materials that served to raise awareness, educate, and influence, in the physical context of a noisy cluttered retail environment. Tactics from humorous wayfinding tools and team personal wear, to receipt marketing and interactive kiosks, were developed to bring the brand to life.
Teaser advertising to seed awareness for "the orange button," with its promise of technological innovation.
Our web presence was designed around a central site that serves as the organizing educational base, with an information architecture that guides the visitor through the Energy Star methodology and helps them identify the applicable name-brand electronics as well as participating retailers in their local area. A suite of bold, interactive digital brand and product banners, served on high-traffic tech and retail sites, were extremely effective at driving traffic to the site.
Thought leadership around energy efficiency innovation and electronics, built around social channels, has fueled rich conversations, and raised awareness and understanding of the "orange button."
The "Orange Cube" is the weighty and significant award bestowed on the select few businesses and residential customers that have achieved the vaunted level of "orange" in their energy efficiency goals. This is but one component of a comprehensive toolkit created for individual utilities to use for customized outreach and marketing.
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