FRIENDS & FOES
STORY BRANDS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
WITH THE POWER OF LISTENING WE HELPED ENERGY COMPANY NUON TRANSFORM FROM A COMMODITY PROVIDER INTO A WARM-HEARTED SERVICE BRAND

A CAREGIVER BRAND

Nuon wanted to reposition itself from commodity provider to service brand. But energy companies are neither very likeable nor top of mind. We started working from the inside out. When we interviewed employees we recognised that a dramatic change was needed to align the company with employee perceptions and expectations. First we helped Nuon engage with their identity as a caregiver brand that truly wants the best for its customers. This led to a major shift in perspective. It was no longer about Nuon telling people what to do, but about better understanding what Nuon could do for people.

ENERGY IS THE POSSIBILITY TO CHANGE SOMETHING

To kick off this transformation we introduced the online platform “What can we change for you?” In a nationwide campaign we asked people for their ideas to help Nuon change. Online Nuon opened itself up to non-scripted conversations with its customers: open, frank, and humbling.

CHANGING DARK AND SCARY BICYCLE TUNNELS INTO PLEASANT, WELL-LIGHTED PASSAGES

In this brand activation we used ‘the power of lighting for good’. So when we listened to people to find out what we could do with that power it became clear that although the Netherlands is famous for its bicycle culture, still there are many bicycle tunnels that lack proper lighting. We build an online platform and in a social campaign we asked people to enter their most scary local bicycle tunnel and gather votes for it to become better illuminated. A powerful bond between Nuon, municipalities and local school kids was born.

LISTENING PROVIDES ENERGY

Once Nuon could really prove that it was a caregiver brand, we took the next step in demonstrating it had become a warm-hearted service brand. In the campaign “Listening gives energy” we showed service propositions that solved customer nuisances. For instance, Nuon Blijven Loont (Staying with Nuon Pays), rewards loyal customers instead of giving new customer signing bonuses. Something that annoys many loyal clients. And with “Kies je Betaaldag” (Choose your Payday) you can decide for yourself when you want to pay your monthly energy bill. Because isn’t it old fashioned that a company decides for you when to pay your bill?

THE RESULT: THE STRONGEST ENERGY BRAND IN THE NETHERLANDS

As a result of this transformation and the supporting campaign Nuon saw a massive uplift in NPS, the main KPI to see if they were on the right track. Moreover, they outperformed near competitors Eneco and Essent for the duration of the campaign. The campaign demonstrably contributed to customer retention: retained revenue versus campaign spend was a staggering 480%!

THE LAST NUON CAMPAIGN EVER

The next step in Nuon’s evolution as a service brand is its commitment to a higher purpose, to help its customers and society transition to a fossil free future. To achieve this aim it has rebranded to Vattenfall, the name of its Swedish parent company. We helped the brand make the transition in the truly caring manner that people have come to expect from Nuon.

Created and produced at creative agency Lemon Scented Tea