A brand that leads the charge
Brand workshops | Consumer research | Brand research | Competitive Analysis | Positioning | Brand Strategy | Brand design | Website design and build | Signage | Collateral | Social Media
As recently as 2015 New Zealand Electric Vehicles (EVs) owners could not charge their vehicles beyond their house. Steve West, one of the founders set about changing that – building the largest privately-owned EV charging network in the Southern Hemisphere.
But during the intervening years the brand became dated and had lost awareness & connection with its key audiences. A key problem was that their 260 EV stations nationwide were branded inconsistently. The time had come for the brand to mature and rightfully claim its important place in the EV industry for New Zealand.
“The rebrand came at a time when the brand, deliberately or not, was coming of age. While the startup brand had got them off the ground and gained traction we knew it was now time to stand up, be noticed, be respected and take ownership of this marketplace.”
STEVE WEST – CO-FOUNDER AND CEO
“The new brand takes ChargeNet from a start-up, to a more easily recognisable and modern brand with a bold identity. The brand has evolved to command attention and stand out from competitors and it is now a true reflection of the unique value proposition that ChargeNet represents.”
JASMINE ROXBOROUGH – YHI ENERGY
We started with a Brand Assessment for the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) so they could see the entire brand and how inconsistent and incoherent it had become. A workshop then assessed their strategic direction, areas of uniqueness, issues faced and key traits underlying their business.
We then undertook in-depth interviews with two target audiences: key partners and EV drivers (customers) to gauge their brand and service perceptions.
What became evident is that people loved the ideal they were buying into with ChargeNet but the same could not be said of the brand. We knew if we could elevate the brand to match the experience/ideal we would be onto a winner.
ChargeNet suspected that the brand was dated and wasn’t connecting with key audiences so sought to ‘refresh the website’ and the brand along with it.
The original brief was fairly simple: to modernise the brand and refresh the website. But we knew there was a lot more value to be had around the visibility of the charging network and how to better connect with a business audience (being a new market for them).
Our research indicated the challenges to the brand were:
- Internal confusion as to who they were and how to articulate their position in the market
- EV drivers were so proud and enthusiastic about their part in saving the world but didn’t feel the same about their ChargeNet experience.
- Businesses were confused about ChargeNet’s offering
- International competitors could disrupt the NZ market so ensuring they build high brand loyalty is essential
The objectives we devised were to move the brand:
The outcomes were creatively innovative in a number of ways:
1. Connects to Audience
“Loving the new colours and branding, very fresh and stands out significantly more than it used to. Makes seeing and finding ChargeNet chargers when travelling really easy and a great improvement to the image of ChargeNet, well done with the update.”
GRAEME FENEMOR – CUSTOMER AND EV DRIVER
“Our old branding was inconsistent and often muddled due to a lack of brand ownership. In this process we have had to step back to review our messaging and customer touchpoints in order to build a purpose driven brand. Our new brand messages are clear and concise and allow us to quickly convey what is often seen as a confusing topic.”
BAILEY GORST, MARKETING MANAGER OF CHARGENET
2. Maturity of Brand
“The rebranding efforts come at a pivotal moment in the EV movement in New Zealand with the market shifting more positively towards electric vehicles. With our expertise and track record, along with our new identity ChargeNet has established ourselves as an industry leader.”
STEVE WEST – CO-FOUNDER AND CEO
The intention was always a simple brand evolution. To simplify the logo as far as possible whilst retaining the brand recognition. To improve street visibility.
The old colour palette was too busy with black, red and orange being used inconsistently. We consolidated this palette down to one colour – red – to make it easy for drivers to find on the street.
CHARGING NETWORK DESIGN
A key aspect of this project was the signage on the chargers. They had various designs on them – some even featuring lightning bolts! They also had advertising all over them giving advertisers priority to the detriment of ChargeNet’s own brand. The more they added, the more brand-invisible they became.
We reclaimed these ‘billboards’ for ChargeNet by making them clean modern, easy to find and ensured they promoted ChargeNet first, advertisers second.
“Since launching the new brand we have seen a noticeable increase across the board. Our sales team is busier than ever with an upsurge in commercial sales enquiries, our social media engagement has increased 650% year-on-year and our new website is seeing a significant boost in page views, new user visits and a longer average session duration.”
BAILEY GORST – MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
“Since the first of the year of ChargeNet providing Fast Chargers for Electric Vehicles in the South Island of New Zealand I have been an enthusiastic customer and supporter of the company and its ideals. I thought the original logo was brilliant – the positive and negative signs indicative of a battery and the inclusion of the smiling face.”
MARTIN KANE – CUSTOMER AND EV DRIVER
CEO’s comment on the brand
“We’re incredibly proud to launch ChargeNet’s brand refresh, which is the first update to the brand since our first charging station launched more than five years ago with a logo created in Photoshop.
Keeping the core elements of our previous logo allows us to update our existing network gradually while we put most of our resources into expanding our nationwide network of chargers for our valued and loyal customers.
Our research revealed that most people who recognised our brand were those who dealt with us on a regular basis, such as our commercial partners and existing customers. We wanted to boost visibility of our brand and make our driver collateral such as key fobs a desirable product that users were proud to show off.
Our new, modern branding aligns with the next phase of our business strategy, which is focused on educating the general public about the extensive network of chargers already available and to encourage more New Zealand businesses to adopt EVs as fleet vehicles.
The rebranding efforts come at a pivotal moment in the EV movement in New Zealand with the market shifting more positively towards electric vehicles. With our expertise and track record, along with our new identity ChargeNet has established ourselves as an industry leader.”
STEVE WEST, CEO AND CO-FOUNDER OF CHARGENET