Strategy & Organization, Design & Technology May 25, 2018
Eneco: from energy supplier to sustainable service provider
Eneco is one of the biggest energy suppliers in the Netherlands and, according to independent research, one of the most sustainable. On top of that, the company has the ambition to make a difference in servicing its 1.2 million customers. All this comes to expression in the message ‘Welcome to the new world’, developing and marketing sustainable products and services.
Eneco is changing from an energy supplier that supplies electricity and gas to Dutch households to a sustainable service provider that offers a diversity of products and services that should help to make the Netherlands more sustainable, step-by-step. To achieve this, the relationship with existing and new customers has to be built and expanded, mainly via the digital channels. The Eneco website and app play an important role in attracting new customers and binding and servicing existing customers, making them crucial elements in achieving the sustainable mission of Eneco.
Collaboration with Dept
Eneco already launched an app that is widely used and rated well by customers and in the area of mobile app strategy, vision and concept, Eneco has already successfully collaborated with Dept. This collaboration will now be expanded to include the strategy, concept and design of Eneco.nl.
Here, the emphasis is on collaborating. Dept started working with people from Eneco with a broad team of specialists. It was a joint effort, with the aim of renewing the highly outdated Eneco website with attention to service, sales and sustainability. Moreover, the design of the website was no longer in line with the new brand and the pastel-colored house style that we know so well from the commercials.
Prior to this process, Dept helped to re-determine the vision for Eneco.nl based on interviews, research, data and customer validation. This vision included an overarching strategy for the website and gave answers to questions like: how do we deal with Eneco’s many new sustainable services? And how can we better unlock and communicate the ‘Welcome to the new world’-message?
The starting point for the latter was that Eneco’s online environment should feel like a personalized, new world. The guiding principle was that the visitor experiences and feels the new world through the user experience, and not just through word. The new environment was designed with the emphasis on ‘mobile first design’, with a great deal of attention being devoted to the digital translation of the ‘pop style’ elements that characterize the Eneco expressions.
One of the goals was to assist people in making their lives more sustainable using a step-by-step approach. We decided to give shape to this by placing a 3D-house on Eneco.nl. Based on that model, (potential) customers can see exactly how Eneco can help them become more sustainable, from placing solar panels to installing a Toon-thermostat. This 3D-house offers people an alternative, dynamic way to navigate Eneco’s products and services, including the new WarmteWinner and Ketelcomfort. Service takes a central place in the website and personalization is used as a service to users instead of as a conversion booster.
The step-by-step strategy continues throughout the entire customer journey. (Potential) customers are not immediately overloaded with products and services. Once people become clients, Eneco enters into a dialogue with them about other products and services that may be relevant to them.
Due to the size of the Eneco website, the renewed environment is rolled out in phases. In January, the ‘Home’ and multiple underlying pages were renewed. In the course of 2018 the entire website including ‘My Eneco’ will get an overhaul.
With the message ‘Welcome to the new world’ in mind we looked for a new experience for the design of Eneco.nl. To achieve that a simple facelift of the current design was not enough. We had to search for means to effectively communicate this new world. Together with Eneco and Matters Most we defined a new color palette that better matches the ATL resources.
And to great effect. Early tests showed that users felt the green, sustainable nature of Eneco, without the color green actually being applied. The design and user experience were brought in line with Eneco’s sustainable message.
The visual concept is aimed at making green energy attractive. We do this by offering the products in a clear way, supported by a clear story, but always with a wink. From a conceptual point of view, you not only become Eneco’s customer, you become a member. We wanted to load Eneco’s new world with a character that ties in with a form of positive activism.
Becoming a member should therefore be a party. Every step in the process of joining the new world should be positive. We extended that feeling throughout the appearance of the entire website, using large color areas with subtle gradients, with a lot of white space and with a clear, optimistic tone of voice. The challenge was to make the message and promise of the New World tangible. The new style has a wide range of assets and colors, the richness of which defines a flexible brand that is equipped to answer the questions of our time.
As mentioned, the new environment of the Eneco website will be rolled out step-by-step in 2018. In the course of the year the website will be supplemented with smart services, such as an instant annual report, self-service without login and a conversational UI.