With the solar energy market becoming increasingly competitive, differentiation and positioning is key for continued growth
But how do you differentiate and create enhanced positioning for your solar company for improved market advantage? We have some key suggestions.
Applying solar marketing techniques in terms of differentiation and positioning is not very easy. In this industry, marketing is only one of the many competing priorities. So, covering all those directions while lacking perspective, a good strategy, and dedicated employees can easily lead your company towards failure. According to surveys, solar businesses are quite difficult to handle in terms of marketing initiatives, cash flow, operating process, and sales. Knowing how to differentiate and position yourself on the market has become crucial for your company’s survival.
How to Apply Market Differentiation as a Solar Company
Each new entry into the renewable energy market represents an increase of the competition level, which further means that you will have to use all your marketing tools to differentiate yourself in the eyes of your potential customers. If you are a new company, the same rule applies to you as well. You need to up your game by researching the market, prospecting your target audience, and constantly improving your business. This can, however, be quite a challenge and being passionate about what you do might not suffice.
Understand Your Competitors’ Strengths
This is the first step you must apply to achieve your desired level of differentiation. See what other similar companies do and understand what their brands and approaches represent. Building a strong ability to boost market share by attracting more clients is a must. Also, powerful solar companies are smart enough to leverage a significant pricing advantage by using economies of scale.
But the most important advantage is given by creating a powerful brand identity to complement a strong marketing strategy. These, together with customer acquisition abilities, will lead to overall business growth. So, you should also focus on brand recognition which can be done through advertising, strong online presence, personal selling, and public relations. After all, the higher your brand awareness is, the more products and services you will sell.
Differentiating Your Solar Business
It’s very important to think about all those elements that your company has to offer and rely on them because they can help you differentiate yourself from your competitors, especially from large multinational companies. Find out the needs of your target clients and provide them with a custom solution that they cannot refuse. In the end, it’s all about marketing specialized services. By comparison, most major solar businesses only sell generic products but this approach might not be the best choice as an optimized solution.
You should build a flexible and knowledgeable corporate environment that is ready to come up with the right kind of products. In the solar industry. Variance is king so be ready to embrace it. Also, try to offer added value through additional services such as technical support, monitoring systems, and great customer service that are appealing to your clients.
Positioning Insights for Solar Companies
Solar Marketing Activation Channels
- Word of mouth & referral marketing – all installers apply this strategy because it generates new leads by leveraging customer networks. This is what specialists call a “pull marketing” strategy. It can be built organically through efficiency and professionalism or it can be gained through incentives;
- Affinity marketing – half of the solar companies on the market apply affinity marketing which means they become partners with local networks and groups which have similar objectives and interests. This helps a company increase its business’ reach;
- Graphics – almost all solar companies use certain graphic forms to promote their services. The most common ones are truck magnets and yard signs through which they increase visibility;
- Paid online media – over 50% of solar businesses use online ads on Facebook and Google Search.
Other possibilities are speaking engagements and industry workshops.
Solar Marketing Pain Points
- Marketing management – choosing the proper activation channels, securing brand identity, creating customer personas, using smart CRM software, leveraging marketing networks and gathering resources;
- Competition – it increases more and more with every year that passes. It is hard to establish your business’ strengths and communicate with your public. One must dedicate both resources and time to deliver effective marketing programs and keep track of the results;
- Competitive bid situations – the biggest challenge is not only attracting clients but also remaining competitive at all times while minimizing leads loss. You can do that by focusing on the company’s strong points, positioning yourself as a market leader, responding to client’s requests with a strong CRM, and develop an accountable sales process.
When it comes to differentiation and positioning, there are several important aspects you need to consider: branding (communication, logos, graphics, etc.), customized services, building a strong community presence, focusing on customer satisfaction (asking clients for feedback), using social media and asking for reviews, etc. In the end, you will also need to track results to achieve long-term success.
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