Defining Consumer Relationships in the Energy Industry

Energy: Where Technology & Consumers Collide

The Changing World of Energy

Energy is a rapidly evolving sector. Whatever the technology, demand is driven by consumers. With new and growing access to data, consumer dynamics are changing. Consumer relationships are shifting in significant ways because of

  • New energy choices
  • Greater access to information
  • The realities of smart meters
  • Net metering and its impact on supply/demand projections

We are unique in our understanding of technology, analytics, AND the role that culture plays in consumer behavior. This can have significant implications for our clients. We have significant experience with everything from ethnographies focused on consumer behavior and preference, to worker safety in oil and gas, to predictive analysis on utility transformers, to evaluating high value solar materials, to communications and training for energy efficient workforce development.

We have tools perfect for the energy sector to

  • Make sense out of big data sets
  • Understand how to influence consumer behavior
  • Apply cognitive analytics via IBM Watson to track changes, measure impact, and offer new insights based on federal regulations and comments

Energizing the End User

There has been a transition from focus on energy products to focus on end user engagement. Traditionally, energy companies start with their sales data to learn about their customers—what and how much they bought, what they paid, and information about their demographics. But to understand customers requires information beyond demographics. Demographics are not what determines consumer behavior.

Instead, what is needed is a deeper understanding of the community. At Breakthrough, we uncover information about people’s uses of energy. We ask

  • What are their aspirations?
  • How do these aspirations relate to energy?
  • What does the energy sector need to do to connect with these customers?

Energy companies are aware of the importance of being driven by the customer. However, sometimes, they don’t know enough about their customers and don’t know how to learn enough about their customers to meet their objectives.

That’s where we come in.

We generate insights that help them refine what they offer customers and their communications to those customers. We transform data from static, demographic, psychographic, and sociologic, to effective communications. It’s how we engage with our clients, so they are more knowledgeable and understand what’s required to take best advantage of these opportunities.

Learn more about energy in our Insights blog.