Racing past 100,000 customers, Powershop has become New Zealand’s fastest growing energy supplier.
If you’re looking for a demonstration of creativity’s potential to simultaneously brand-build and generate sales, look no further than a dinner party attended by a big pink ball of energy.
This latest instalment of Powershop’s iconic, disruptive campaign focusing on the relationship between people and their power supplier has helped the company reach its 100,000th customer milestone well ahead of schedule. EightyOne Managing Director Matt West believes that taking the bold call to deliberately focus on re-invigorating the brand is behind this surge in people switching on to Powershop.
“We sat down with the Powershop team back in 2018 to work through what the data was telling us. We were sitting at about 65,000 customers and there wasn’t a clear way forward. We’d hit a ceiling. There wasn’t a whole lot to generate greater attraction to, and stickiness with, the brand. So in a super competitive market the tactical, regional and price focused campaigns we were running were just trying to refill a leaky bucket. We needed to evolve. But it also meant going back to the old fundamentals. To find both a meaningful voice, and a distinctive look, to drive greater awareness and consideration. To find some love in an unlovable category.”
Taking a look at that category, the team at Powershop, MBM and EightyOne believed that the balance of power in the typical supplier – customer relationship was out of whack. Some might even say it’s exploitative. People were happy to cede way more control to their power company than they would stand for in their personal, everyday relationships. Paradoxically, Powershop found a unique space by focusing on relationships in a category where the prevailing wisdom is that people don’t want one with their power company.
So, instead of trying to bribe people with things that will actually suck up more power, or attempting to control when and how they can use power via tactical offers, they chose to humanise Powershop. The team believed that contrasting the accepted status-quo with the more two-way, fair and empowering relationship able to be enjoyed with Powershop would lead to people questioning their current relationship with their power supplier. And create a sense of FOMO that they’d be motivated to act on.
The first stage of the journey was to dial up the brand’s distinctiveness. Cue bringing a big pink personification of Powerhop to life and showing them being put to work by customers.
With the foundations now more securely in place, Powershop moved to directly challenge other suppliers by telling Kiwi households that they “deserved better”, using a dinner party setting to dissect the generally poor state of relationships between people and power companies. Positioning Powershop as liberating them from the rules confining the category, busting the norms that flatter to deceive people into thinking they’re getting a good deal. Showing them they deserved a better relationship and a better way to access power that truly puts them in control.
Powershop’s Head of Marketing, Kate Baker, adds: “We’re the original electricity challenger brand. For a while we lost our way a bit, but we realised we needed to get our swagger back and talk about what we really stand for as a brand. We’re now reaping the rewards of that investment. The results are clear as day. A significant, sustained, upswing in both awareness and consideration over the past 12 months – resulting in unprecedented customer growth. We’re looking forward to further exploring this rich brand territory with MBM and EightyOne.”