CHARGE meets Nick Ranger and Chris Holmes, from Brandpie

As we approach CHARGE Europe (23-24 October), we’ve been asking our top speakers and partners to reveal their approach to branding in energy. In this article, we speak to Nick Ranger, Managing Partner, Consulting, Brandpie and Chris Holmes, Managing Partner, Culture & Leadership,  Brandpie

What lessons have you learned about aligning business, brand and culture to purpose? 

One of common themes we hear from organisations is ‘we’re too siloed’. That often extends to how those companies think about business vision, brand and culture – they look and feel disconnected.

Purpose is our starting point – it’s the central idea that sits at the heart of the business and connects what you do to a meaningful challenge the world is trying to solve. Once defined, it becomes the lens through which to shape your brand and your culture, ensuring that red thread throughout. 

And it works. Perhaps the best example we  can provide is our client, AstraZeneca. They’ve seamlessly connected purpose with their brand and transformed their culture. The business today is a huge success story, and yet ten years ago it looked and felt very different. Purpose has, without doubt, driven that organisation forward.

The lessons? First, and it sounds obvious, get your purpose right. Yes, it needs to be aspirational but it’s so important that people on the ground can relate to it. Second, connect it to everything you do as a business – there is always a link. Third, ensure your Leaders believe it, and feel that they can use it to guide decision making. Purpose often lives or dies here, so help them think through what it means for them, and show how it’s a lens to make decisions.

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

Focus, consistency, simplicity.

What can participants take from your workshop Putting purpose to work in the energy sector?

One of the big themes from our 5th annual CEO report is leaders saying, ‘we understand the power of purpose, but we’re struggling to embed it in our organisation’. We also know that the energy sector – more than possibly any other sector – is under immense pressure to shape a better, more sustainable future, and support any communication with tangible action.

So, our session is aimed at helping participants understand how purpose can be used as a tool to power progress through the energy transition. We’ll share insights from over 1,000 CEOs. We’ll use our experience in this space, gained over the last 15 years, to show how purpose can work at the 50,000 and 50 foot level in a business. The focus is on the practical, tangible ways that purpose can unify, inspire and ultimately, drive sustainable growth, brand strength and sector transformation.

Brandpie is a purpose driven transformation consultancy, head quartered in London. They partner with clients across three connected areas. 

  1. They align Leadership around their Business Vision (purpose, ambition and strategy). 
  2. They create compelling, differentiated brands. 
  3. They define the values and behaviours to deliver your brand promise and achieve your vision. 

That’s often their starting point, and they then continue to partner with their clients over the long-term, ensuring those areas work in unison and deliver growth. Two major transformation programmes, in particular, stand out. 

Their work with SLB over the last two years has been driven by reimagining their role in the energy transition. A category shift, a bold brand idea around a ‘balanced planet’, a revitalised visual identity, and refreshed values provide the foundations for an exciting future. 

And for Statkraft, a new purpose-led vision for the business – ‘Renew the way the world is powered’ – and accompanying values, provide a clarifying north star that will drive the business towards its new and ambitious 2030 strategy. Now, they’re working together to translate this business story into a powerful and differentiating brand.

Those two programmes have been so rewarding to work on. Partnering closely with both organisations, they’ve helped to align Executive Leadership teams, created inspiring brands and motivated employees. In particular, the reaction from employees – the unprompted posts on social media, the energy that’s been created, the pride generated, has been incredible.