One of the most important products produced by Task 7 was an extensive market research study focused on the issue of branding energy efficiency in connection with consumers’ aspirations and values. The results of this multi-national research indicated that the marketing challenge for the branding of energy efficiency is not a question of spreading knowledge, but of establishing image.
This critical marketing data enabled Task 7 participants and industry to explore new promotional ideas for energy efficiency and to seek solutions that will increase consumers’ desire for energy efficient products and services. The results of this market research, in conjunction with a cooperative industry, may provide the key to stimulate a demand for the “brand” of energy efficiency that could be as strong as the ever growing demand for the brand of ‘organic” food. It is hoped that industry will use the information from the market research to develop a “brand” approach to energy efficiency. This “brand” approach would focus more strongly on people as brand aware, self-conscious consumers. Thereby lifting promotion of energy efficiency beyond the usual “save money and the planet” arguments and seeking to identify energy efficiency with the lifestyles, values and attitudes that currently drive consumer purchasing.
This approach has the capacity to transform the chain of market actors, from manufacturing through to the selling and buying of products, as the demand for the most energy efficient products increases. The Task research results also provided a forum for Task participants to hold a series of meetings with some of the major electrical product manufacturers and retailers throughout Europe. The Task identified some of the common barriers to the promotion of energy efficient products and explored the possibilities and opportunities open to an awakening market.
A central goal of the work has been to find a better way to market energy efficiency. In this sense, the DSM Market Transformation Task shares a common goal with much of industry. There are many energy efficient products on the market and Task 7 was interested in exploring ways that would help increase the sale of them.