Which brands are thriving in a difficult market?
A strong brand can help your company to weather a tough market, but who's doing this best? We look at the results of the European Renewables Reputation Index report published by A Word About Wind's parent Tamarindo Group, and draw out some key insights.
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In November, A Word About Wind’s parent company Tamarindo Group published the 2019 European edition of the Renewables Reputation Index.
The report is an objective examination and ranking of the most impactful brands in renewables in Europe. More than 1,200 were investigated based on their influence online, in social and traditional media, and among their industry peers. This list was then cut down to a final 100 in the final report on Tuesday.
It also includes a host of insights for companies looking to build their brands in Europe, including the importance of confident industry figureheads in building a brand; the importance of coming from one of Europe’s largest economies to gain widespread attention; and the ability of established businesses to protect their reputations in the face of challenges caused by market downturns.
Why it matters
It is all very well to get excited about the growing potential for investment in the wind sector in Europe as more countries look to embrace renewables as a way to reduce their carbon emissions.
But there is no escaping the challenges facing companies in onshore and offshore wind, and the impact these can have on companies’ brands.
Competitive auctions have driven down costs both onshore and offshore, and we’re seeing the pain that this is causing for companies across the value chain and those who work for them. These slimmer margins can tempt firms to slash their marketing spend as they focus on survival.
However, Adam Barber, group managing director at Tamarindo Group, says that this would do damage to firms’ long-term reputations.
He says that “for organisations facing challenging commercial environments, maintaining a solid reputation and brand profile can make the difference between growth and stagnation”.
For example, Siemens Gamesa has secured a place in our top five despite the challenges that it is facing due to the crisis for wind in Germany, as it has shown an ability to tackle challenges head on and explain them clearly.
In addition, Enercon and Nordex both feature in the top half of the list, which shows how brands with a known pedigree can maintain a reputation despite present challenges. It is key for companies to retain trust in troubled times.
The report also indicates that, despite the successes of the offshore wind market in Europe in the last year, it won’t be easy for companies to established themselves as a leading brand in this part of the sector when plenty of others want to do the same.
Offshore wind has enjoyed a growing reputation among policymakers over the last 12 months as the levelised cost of energy has kept falling, to strike prices as low as £39.65/MWh in the UK’s latest Contracts for Difference auction.
This is why the industry has become so attractive for politicians that want to back one of the best ways in Europe to build renewables projects at scale.
Both Conservative leader Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have committed to growing the UK’s offshore wind commitments – to 40GW and 52GW respectively by 2030 – if they win the UK’s general election on 12th December. This excitement is why the top 20 of this report features so many utilities that are making strong moves in offshore wind, but it also shows the competition they will face to become seen as a leader.
Finally, the report shows the difficulty for financiers looking to build a brand in renewables, with only four finance-focused companies recognised in this top 100. In our view, this underplays the important contribution that they make to the success of renewables generally, and the wind sector specifically.
The bottom line
Building an effective brand is never easy, and difficult market conditions can make it tougher still. Check out the companies who we think are doing it best.