Iberdrola: building a brand name in the Energy sector

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April 2008 | By Ramon Diaz Bernardo, Professor of Marketing at IE Business School

For years now, the energy sector has spurned marketing, but changes in legislation and share structures have brought about a shift in attitudes. Iberdrola is a prime example.

Marketing in energy enterprises, especially electricity companies, is a relatively new phenomenon. Indeed, until a short time ago, many of these companies did not even have a marketing department. The nearest they had was the public relations function or relations with the media, but not much more.

However, for a few years now, electricity companies have been discovering the world of marketing and the question is: why? What has led these companies to invest in marketing? Like almost everything in this sector, the answer has to do with changes to sector legislation and changes to the companies´ capital ownership structures. Yet, in my opinion, until the domestic consumer has the real capacity for choosing his electricity supplier, there will be no real competition. The introduction of a certain level of competition among electricity companies has led them to start investing in their corporate image and it has given rise to a concern for building a differentiated position. In addition, the electricity companies have invested heavily in marketing aimed in some cases at attracting investors (in the case of public invitations to bid) and in others at defending their “independence” (in the case of public takeover bids, especially if they are hostile).

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