380x287 Utility Warehouse

We created the pig. And we made him dance

The challenge
The Utility Warehouse’s is the UK’s 7th largest utility company with over now 600,000 customers and the UK’s fastest growing brand. It sells Gas, Electricity, Landline, Broadband and Mobile and has a shopping discount ‘club’ that customers join. It is sold via a network of 42,000 UK Distributors. The website was confused, unclear and broken in large areas. It didn’t reflect the status of the brand. It was largely utilitarian and required a sales person (distributor) to guide a customer through it. Consequently few distributors used the site. The online application process was confusing and not used (only 12% of sign ups came online) and abandoned cart levels and mistakes on the application form were high. We also knew that only a third of customers were taking 4 services or more.

Thinking differently
The Utility Warehouse uses the image of a piggy bank in it’s logo which is great for the direct selling brand. But other than that everything looked very, well, utilitarian. It lacked warmth. And it looked ‘home made’. Brands people buy into (especially if you are committing hundreds of pounds a month to in a market full of switch messages) need to look credible and professional. And hard nosed (and very strong) money saving messages are better served with some warmth to ensure an emotional connection too. Which also enables you to make even harder nosed money saving messages.

We were asked to redesign the website. We saw our first job was to do more with the brand, get that right, and everything else will fall into place. We conducted brand workshops to hone messaging and customer promises and to develop the visual language. We created a 3D character, friendlier, more engaging and able to do more than the pig in the logo could ever do. We created a number of images from our 3D model and a series of animation sequences where the pig winks, smiles and shakes his bottom as coins drop into his slot. This was used online, in film and social media. He was used across the website we were to build and in customer campaigns under the concept banner of ‘The Pig Difference’.

 

Results
The website was a huge success (see website case study here). The CEO called it ‘Game changing’. We moved 12% online signups to 75% (self correcting, easily navigable sessioned application form) and customers taking 4 services or more from 33% to 65% thanks to clearer messaging, stronger creative propositions, signposting and engagement – which comes down in no small part to a warmer, friendlier brand.

 

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