Northeast Utilities

A corporate rebrand establishes a new space in the hearts and minds of New Englanders


All proof, no pudding

Northeast Utilities is New England’s largest supplier of energy, yet it has no customers. All of its generation, transmission, and delivery services were branded through local operating businesses: Connecticut Light & Power, Public Service of New Hampshire, Western Massachusetts Electric Company, and Yankee Gas. Further, consumers became interested in their energy brand only during an outage or disruption of service. Therefore, the corporate NU brand had little awareness or brand relevance other than to investors and regulatory authorities. Any brand equity that existed was attached to a local operating business, and that was purely performance-based, lacking any level of emotional attachment or promise.

Introduce the brand’s promise, and then let it sing.

Two campaigns were developed to establish the NU brand promise: A corporate campaign was developed to define the organization—its brand promise and value proposition—and introduce an overarching emotional benefit. A second “customer experience” campaign was developed to enhance the reputations of the local operating businesses by demonstrating a clear understanding of customer needs.

Create the new brand one word at a time.

The goal of the corporate campaign was to position NU clearly and rapidly in the center of the energy category. By placing NU squarely into a relevant word, it answered the customers’ most frequent questions: Who are you? What do you do? What do you do for me? The words selected for inclusion also corresponded to the emerging emotional platform being created.

The distinctive new logo conveyed a strong, solid personality that was injected into words relevant to customers. Words like renuvator, entreprenur, nu England, ingenuity, and renuable not only communicated the customer benefits of NU, they also began to create a brand personality, reference point, and identity.

 

Always leave time for Q&A and a strong demo.

The experience campaign then made the NU promise relevant using the introductory sign-off, We’re NU. We’re Ready. And You’re On., People were asked to interact with the new brand by asking a question or submitting a problem. Answers, solutions, and introduction of new services provided a living demonstration of the NU brand and its many customer benefits.

Bigger, better, and bought

At launch, Northeast Utilities announced a merger with NSTAR and formed a new regional energy company, now branded Eversource.

 


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