CHARGE meets Katja Metz, Teamlead Global Marketing Campaign, E.ON

During CHARGE Europe (23-24 October) in Berlin we asked our top speakers and partners to reveal their approach to branding in energy. In this article, we speak to Katja Metz, Teamlead Global Marketing Campaign, E.ON

What impact does ESG have on brand identity now, and how important will it be in the future?

Working directly on transitioning energy into renewables, ESG is a must-have for us. Being open, accountable, and transparent as a company means you have more control and influence on the narrative surrounding these core beliefs. ESG can help transform into a purpose driven business and a commercially aligned brand purpose. It helps doing business in a fairer, more sustainable and more responsible way. ESG creates a set of standards for a company’s behaviour which spans from environmental impact and resource use to social impact and creating a safer, more inclusive, equality-focused workplace.

As a result ESG has a major impact on Employer Branding and where you stand with customers, who are more and more aware from whom they are buying from. 

How is your company responding to rising user expectations and aligning them with your ESG strategy?

Sustainability is at the core of E.ONs strategy and – in every dimension – will be the benchmark for our actions in the future. We support our customers in their decarbonization and become climate neutral ourselves.

More than 70% of all Greenhouse Gas Emissions are energy related. Therefore, E.ON consequently reinvented itself and systematically focuses on delivering the solutions for the decarbonization of the energy world. Improving people’s lives and creating a better tomorrow – we are driven to fight climate change through our core business. We are committed to act responsibly, transparently and with competence to constantly reinforce trust of our customers, our colleagues and society.

What is the general perception of the brand within your business versus how it was a few years ago? How has it changed, and what are your hopes for your brand in the next few years?

E.ON´s external profile is still not very clear “They do something with Energy”. The biggest challenge is to communicate the transformation that has happened within E.ON over the past few years to the outside world. We need to shift people’s minds towards the perception: 

  1. E.ON – they make Europe’s energy transition work
  2. We want to be seen as trailblazers and the epitome of our category –when people think about energy, they should think about E.ON.

What are the first 3 ingredients that go into a successful communications recipe? 

  1. Be relevant – only when communicating relevant content can you get into the hearts and minds of your customers and have a chance that your message will be heard.
  2. Be transparent to build trust – if people don´t believe you, they don´t like you and they won´t buy from you.
  3. Communicate proof points – audiences don´t want to hear any more promises. They want to understand what companies like E.ON are doing concretely for the Energy Transition and Climate Change. 

What lessons have you learned about simplifying complex concepts/technologies for branding and communications?

The most important lesson is that communication has to have an outside/in focus. Other industries are much more used to customer centricity. In the energy sector, where marketing and communications haven’t been given a high priority, it´s still often inside/out.
Once you understand customer needs, pain points and fears, it´s much easier to tailor communication with a clear insight to increase relevance, in a way customers understand.

  • If you were to capture the best communications advice that you’ve ever received as a 5-7 word presentation slide title what would that be?

“Story telling – Craft your message into relatable narratives”

E.ON Group is one of Europe’s largest operators of energy networks and energy infrastructure and a provider of innovative customer solutions for approx. 48 million customers. They’re decisively driving forward the Energy Transition in Europe and are committed to sustainability, climate protection, and the future of our planet.

E.ON are currently working on a positioning project and a new global campaign platform to greater position E.ON as leaders of the Energy Transition.  In addition, E.ON supports individual business units with communications strategies and more customer centric outside/in thinking to increase their relevance.