Making the brand more engaging
The Utility Warehouse is the UK’s 7th largest utility company with over now 600,000 customers and the UK’s fastest growing brand. It sells Gas, Electricity, Landline, Broadband and Mobile and has a shopping discount ‘club’ that customers join. It is sold via a network of 42,000 UK Distributors.
This work was done in 2012/13 and has informed the recent refresh.
The Utility Warehouse uses the image of a piggy bank in its logo – very direct. But everything looked very, well, utilitarian. It lacked warmth.
My first job was to do more with the brand, get that right, and everything else will fall into place. I conducted brand workshops to hone messaging and customer promises and to develop the visual language. We created a 3D character, friendlier, more engaging and able to do more than the pig in the logo could ever do. We created a number of images from our 3D model and a series of animation sequences where the pig winks, smiles and shakes his bottom as coins drop into his slot. This was used online, in film and social media. He was to be used across the website and in customer campaigns under the concept banner of ‘The Pig Difference’.
The main customer website
The website was confused, unclear and broken in large areas. Journeys were difficult and required a sales person (distributor) to guide a customer through it. But few distributors used the site. The online application process was confusing (only 12% of sign ups came online) and abandoned cart levels and mistakes on the application form were high. We also knew that only a third of customers were taking 4 services or more. Brands people buy into (especially if you are committing hundreds of pounds a month to AND in a market full of switch messaging) need to look credible. Money saving messages are better served with some warmth to ensure an emotional connection too. They weren’t.
Stronger more direct messaging. Clearer signposting. Logical journeys and supported decision making. Simplified processes and Savings/Simplicity/Service promise. Dedicated product areas and progress charts. And a simplified, self-correcting, verifying application form.The website was a huge success (see website case study here). The CEO called it ‘Game changing’. We moved 12% online signups to 75% (self correcting, easily navigable sessioned application form) and customers taking 4 services or more from 33% to 65% thanks to clearer messaging, stronger creative propositions, signposting and engagement – which comes down in no small part to a warmer, friendlier brand.
I delivered a detailed and granular content strategy and training for their internal teams to develop content themselves. This was for the website and social media. Part of this involved scripting 18 short webfilms covering customers, distributors and interviews and quotes from customers to use on the website to help deliver on the SEO strategy.
I developed and directed newsletter email templates and campaigns. The one featured is for mobile phones.
We developed an App so that customers could submit meter readings and upgrade their cover and introduce a friend, and be rewarded for it.
Connecting the Network Director with 42,000 distributors
The Network Director (he’s called Wayne) needed to connect with them to make sure they were accessing training, hitting targets and making the most of resources available to them.
Wayne travels the country on his motorbike and needs to maximize his time by meeting more distributors in each location and we need to make it easier for them to book onto events and training. So we placed a geo-location app on him and linked it to the home page of his website. Distributors can follow him around the country as he travels to meet and motivate them. They can also access his diary of events and invite him to meet them. Wayne can set up conferences and group meetings through the website and they can comment and share insights and pictures with the network. We designed, planned, wireframed and wrote the website and working with a specialist WordPress development partner company we delivered this this simple WordPress website in under 2 weeks.
The business customer website
The Utility Warehouse customers aren’t just private households. The same offering is made to businesses. But distributers don’t tend to push the business product.
We needed to state the business case simply and support it with testimonials. If distributors see the website is a simple tool they can use – and in keeping with the main website which they have already started using, then they will know signing up businesses is going to be easy.
The business website needed to be managed by a different team at the clients end and was going to be a lot simpler than the main site as it wasn’t fully transactional.