Monday 11 December 2017

Power provider determined to show it has Energia for success

THE energy market is getting pretty crowded now. The domestic, consumer market has seen the entry of a host of players in a very short space of time, but the business market, which was deregulated a decade ago, has been as tough to break into -- and remain in -- since the start of the 2000s.

One company that has survived and prospered in the business-to-business (b-to-b) sector is Energia.

Since it received a licence as a shipper/supplier of electricity, Energia has grown to the point where it has a quarter of the business electricity market across the island and supplies 30pc of all gas consumed by the business market on the island.

So far, so good. The problem Energia is facing now is name and brand recognition. To remedy this, it is launching a €1m marketing campaign aimed at getting the company name out there and increasing the focus on the Energia brand.

Retail director Gary Ryan explained: "Since we were set up we have concentrated on securing contracts within the b-to-b space.

"While we did some minor marketing over the years, in a sense we didn't really have to. Most of our business was done through networking and word of mouth. To be honest, we were focused on building the business in our sector rather than broadening the brand's appeal.

"We found that a lot of companies that would get their gas or electricity from us were very happy with the service but they couldn't tell you who they got there electricity or gas from!

"So after the guts of 10 years building the business to the point it is at now, we decided it was time to take it to the next stage and look for a broader appeal for the Energia brand," he says.

Getting a broader appeal for the brand means the company's first "above-the-line" campaign, which has seen it launch a television ad this week as well as a deal with RTE to splash its name across the broadcaster's business news website. Energia will also sponsor 'The Business' radio programme at weekends.

Clearly it's a tightly focused campaign -- something Ryan is quite happy with.

"We think we've a good idea about who our target audience is and we don't feel there is a need for us to go beyond that at this stage."

The relatively new Boys And Girls agency ran the creative, which it secured after a competitive process involving five agencies.

Apart from the marketing campaign, Energia is undergoing a rebranding campaign as well. Part of the Viridian Group, Energia has until now been part of the VPE division of the company, which included a host of other businesses. They will all now become part of the Energia Group.

PostScript is always curious about how a company finds the process the first time they think about running a marketing campaign. What advice would they give other firms looking to run a campaign?

"Do your research," says Ryan. "It's one thing to think you know your target, it's another to do your focus groups and so on and know exactly what will appeal to them."

Get on board and save with Bus Eireann's club

BUS Eireann is entering the popular deals space and is now offering customers what it calls "great value deals from a range of third-party partners" if they sign up to its new online loyalty scheme, beClub.

Membership of beClub is free and by signing-up on members can get discounted rates for hotel and self-catering accommodation; family days out; adventure activities like sailing and diving; sporting gear; family meals and many more offers. Members can also benefit from discounted travel on Bus Eireann services.

beClub members earn points every time they log in to their online account and buy a Bus Eireann ticket online. The points can be saved and then used to redeem against the great rewards available. Some rewards don't require any points so just by signing up, members can get discounts straightaway.

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