What sort of promise would best express Vattenfall's commitment to delivering ever-greener electricity?

Vattenfall is an energy company which has a clear objective in mind: to make life without fossil fuels possible. That starts with Vattenfall itself; the energy company is slowly but surely phasing out use of fossil fuels, such as coal, and making significant investment in generating green solar and wind energy. Within the next few years, 100% green electricity from sources in the Netherlands must be available to all its customers.

The company wants to notify its customers of this change. But which of the three messages it has drafted to do this would Vattenfall best be advised to use to communicate this to its customers? Which message best conveys its plans, and which scenario ensures that its current customers will stick with Vattenfall? SPRINT investigated the matter for Vattenfall within 24 hours.

Testing three communication scenarios

Vattenfall got SPRINT to test three different communication messages in total. A separate standard on-line questionnaire was used and completed for each scenario, and Vattenfall supplied additional questions that they wanted answering. Each questionnaire was completed by 80 consumers, who were also Vattenfall customers, and 80 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Questions to Vattenfall customers

Each questionnaire participant was shown a scenario, and then asked a number of questions about it.

  • What did they think of the communication?
  • What kind of message did they think Vattenfall was sending?
  • Did they think the scenario was appropriate for an energy company like Vattenfall?
  • Was the communication appealing?
  • Was the message relevant to them personally?
  • To what extent was it likely that they would remain customers of Vattenfall?
  • Did the picture that they previously had of Vattenfall change after reading this message?

What did Vattenfall learn from this study?

All the results had been gathered within 24 hours and delivered to Vattenfall in an on-line interactive dashboard. The results enabled Vattenfall to discover, first and foremost, what its customers thought of the message and whether it was attractive. The energy company also got the answer to the question of whether current customers would want to remain with Vattenfall on hearing this communication, or would perhaps want to change supplier. Lastly, the energy company got an insight into whether one particular scenario stood out from the others, and could choose which communication to retain and, where necessary, improve, before official publication.

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