As one of the leading generators of renewable electricity in the UK and Ireland, SSE is building a better world of energy for generations to come. SSE develops, owns and operates low carbon infrastructure to support the zero-carbon transition. This includes onshore and offshore wind, hydro power, electricity transmission and distribution grids, alongside providing energy products and services for businesses.
2020 proved to be a pivotal year for SSE. In January, the company sold its retail energy business to OVO Group which allowed the energy giant to focus more exclusively on its renewable interests and regulated electricity networks, as part of its commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Building empathy and securing stakeholder buy-in
This change in strategy was reflected in a new Group architecture and a refreshed brand identity, both of which had to be rolled out to employees and external stakeholders. SSE wanted a system to launch and manage the new brand, make sure everyone understood what was happening and was on board with the company’s plans and ambitions.
Managing a brand in transition
The project posed several challenges, not least the fact that we were dealing with a large, complex organisation – SSE is a FTSE-100 listed company, employing around 12,000 people.
Brands are defined by how they look and come across – and what they say. This posed a challenge for the SSE brand and design team, tasked with meeting demand for corporate, sales, marketing and technical collateral from across the company. For the system to succeed, it had to help the team manage the entire process – from planning and design through to production and delivery.
The timing of the project also proved significant in the context of COVID-19. The effects of the virus pandemic, coupled with the fact that the SSE Group operates from multiple sites, meant that a flexible SaaS cloud-based solution which would support remote working was essential.
Brand management solutions for an evolving energy business
Understanding the new brand identity across all channels.
For many SSE stakeholders, we knew that the Brand Centre would be their first introduction to the ‘new brand’ and wanted to make this a valuable experience. Not only does it provide a ready source of approved templates, guidelines and assets, the Brand Centre highlights the company’s vision, and purpose as it pursues a sustainable business strategy. Also, we developed a separate Brand Centre for its electricity networks business which operates independently from its parent company.
A comprehensive digital asset archive
We developed a comprehensive archive of digital assets, all structured, categorized and tagged to reflect the new Group architecture, its focus on renewable and thermal energy and the company’s low-carbon infrastructure. The availability of relevant rich content helps to tell the SSE story and build an accurate picture of a business that knows where it’s going.
Self-serviced online templates
Given the significance of the changes, the brand had to make a positive impact when introduced to stakeholders. Powerful template technology guarantees high quality, consistency and compliance across all channels and provides the basis for a ‘self-service’ studio system that streamlines the production of brand and marketing collateral throughout the business.
BrandMaster have provided us with an essential brand management solution that has allowed us to roll out a new brand identity to a wide range of teams and business units across both SSE Group and our regulated electricity network at the same time.
This has enabled us to deliver brand consistency, efficiency and a platform to regularly share new and refreshed brand assets as soon as they become available.