Branding, Bright Ideas Blog, Marketing, Messaging, Solar

Making a Brand Connection with Solar Marketing

In our last post we talked about the need to elevate solar marketing to a level that transcends speeds and feeds. But how can solar companies connect with customers on an emotional level that inspires them to act?

Going solar is a bit like falling in love.

Or getting your first car.

Or falling in love in your first car.

Yes, solar saves money. The drop in solar costs means that solar is now attractive to more customers than ever before. No longer do we have to rely on the environmental good intentions of early adopters. Now that solar can pay for itself in a time period measured in months instead of years, a whole new market of consumers are open to the solar message.

How can we connect with consumers in a more compelling, appealing and ultimately more persuasive way?

Unfortunately, too many solar companies rely on direct marketing tactics that leave a cheap impression on consumers. Loudly proclaiming the financial benefits of solar is one way to get attention – but not when everyone else is saying the same thing. It’s harder than ever today to differentiate your brand on a financial message alone.

Along with feeling smart and economical, solar customers want to feel GOOD about their decision to go solar – whether that customer is a homeowner, a business, or even a corporate entity.

Think about how smart brands communicate with their customers.

It’s hard to fathom creating an emotional connection with a bank, but that doesn’t stop smart marketers from reaching customers that way.

A few years back, Texas consumers were treated to a 30-second TV commercial that had no dialogue. The sepia-tinted spot was shot from the inside of a pickup truck driving down a rural road. The only action was the driver raising a couple of fingers off the steering wheel to greet the drivers of the few vehicles coming down the road. “We Speak Texan” appeared on screen at the end. This spot for Frost Bank deeply resonated with millions of Texans, including a vast majority who don’t drive pickups and rarely travel rural roads. Frost Bank separated itself from the banking herd by making it clear that if you banked with Frost, you’d be part of a special community.

Solar marketing is no different. Except we are.

We can communicate as effectively as any other industry with one striking and critical difference: We can pay off our brand promise.

We actually DELIVER the very real, very pure benefits of being powered by the sun. We can make our customers feel like planetary superheroes – and save money at the same time. How smart our customers should feel!

Americans today are ready for solar – let’s not dampen their enthusiasm. In a recent Pew Research study, 89% of Americans said they would favor more solar power plants and 41% said they have given “serious consideration” to installing solar. Only 4% of these have actually installed solar – meaning there is a huge opportunity for solar to grow in the U.S.

It’s time to start talking about the deep emotional satisfaction people report – again and again – when their solar system’s light goes on.

Going solar is so much more than a financial decision. It’s a declaration that you’ve put your faith in the clean, timeless power of the sun – and made the decision to invest in its longevity rather than continue sending annuity payments to your utility.

That feeling of empowerment and independence creates a deeply emotional bond that most industries can only dream about.

Challenge yourself to transform the way you market solar to consumers. Now is the time to abandon the ordinary, and embrace an absolutely extraordinary brand connection with your customers. Remember:  In solar, the sky is always the limit.

In Part 3 of our Solar Branding Series, we’ll take a closer look at some of the companies who are doing solar branding right – and what we can learn from them.