Pijlman and van den Boogaard – EnergieDirect

Pijlman and van den Boogaard – EnergieDirect

Growing in a challenger market

Realising brand growth as a challenger in the market can be difficult. You want to realise a constant growth and you want it to be long-term. This brings us to Leonoor van den Bogaard, Manager Marketing & Communication and Jorrit Pijlman, Marketing Director, at Energiedirect.nl. Jorrit: “We’re a challenger brand and we want to grow. More entrants are entering the market, so the challenger market is growing rapidly. Within that ‘growth market’, we want to be the frontrunner.”

The players
From a marketing communication perspective, Energiedirects most important KPI is building brand awareness, according to Leonoor. “There are a couple of big players in the market and we’re one of the bigger smaller players, but we notice that we still have to work to acquire a stronger ‘brain-position’ across the consumers in the Netherlands.” She explains that if you want to grow as a brand, you have to make sure you get in the heads of as many people as possible. “We’re really working on that; How many consumers know our brand and know what we have to offer? So, it’s not solely about awareness but also about building a network of associations around our brand.”

Alongside awareness, Energiedirect look at market share. Jorrit: “We’re doing a lot of acquisition, so another important KPI is to gain market share and grow our customer base. Of course, combined with awareness. Acquisition without awareness is very expensive. It’s a lot of push, convincing and explaining.” Jorrit sees a positive result, a synergy effect when combining the two.

We make sure we continue to get noticed.”

The line-up
To help Energiedirect grow as a challenger, Leonoor explains they measure their campaigns continuously. “If our campaigns have the objective to gain awareness and drive sales, then that’s what we measure. Before starting a campaign, we look at our objectives and what media mix to use to realise those objectives.” So, what media fits challenger Energiedirect? Leonoor explains that they’ve been working with a new approach as of the end of 2017. “We’re inspired by Byron Sharp’s philosophy; being ‘always on’ instead of bursting media campaigns. And making sure you have an optimal media mix. We focus on online media for acquisition and use a combination of traditional and online media to build awareness. We try to be constantly present. Therefore, we started putting out shorter tv-commercials, this enables us to be ‘on air’ more frequently, but in an efficient way.” In addition, it’s important to be recognizable as a brand. Leonoor: “To do so, we’ve been looking at the brand assets we’ve already build up: our colour green and communicating in short statements. Next to that, we started looking at assets we could build next to that: using a recognizable face (Klaas) in our commercials, our own tune and a fixed voice over. However, you have to keep refreshing. By introducing new messages and ads with this recognizable framework, the memory structure will be refreshed, and we make sure we continue to get noticed.”

According to Jorrit, data is crucial when spreading a message. “Data enables us to find people and prospects at the right moment and reach them with the right message.”

“People talk about ‘the’ Energiedirect website. But that website doesn’t exist.”

Hitting the target
Alongside Energiedirect’s main media mix, they invest in more targeted communication, using the available data. According to Jorrit, Energiedirect’s focus is to give their consumers and prospects the best digital experience possible, by adapting content to be as relevant as possible. “People talk about ‘the’ Energiedirect website. But that website doesn’t exist. Depending on what you’re looking for, there are 8 different websites. Based on our consumers objective, you’ll see a different website fitting your personal situation. For example, you need different support from us when you’re at the end of your contract, to when you want to pass on your meter readings.”

The standings
Energiedirect’s biggest success is their new marketing strategy. Leonoor: “Working with shorter formats, more efficient media approach, lower media pressure instead of bursting, they all contribute to a better brain position of Energiedirect. Instead of seeing fluctuating awareness figures, we see a more structural build-up of awareness.” Jorrit underlines Energiedirect’s investments in digital, data and partnerships: “As a result, we’re realising a constant growth of our brand. To stand out as a challenger among other challengers, to be number one, you need to do that. It’s necessary for long-term growth.”