British Gas has fired up its brand image this week, with strategy and design by Enterprise IG, as it seeks to persuade householders to consider it a trustworthy alternative to unreliable plumbers and electricians.
The work, worth about £250 000 in fees, has involved bringing greater consistency to British Gas communications as the company extends its brand into ‘essential home services’ like central heating maintenance and appliance care, as well as insurance and telecoms.
The revamp comes in the middle of a three-year initiative from brand owner Centrica to align its home offers behind the British Gas marque. Enterprise IG was appointed in January following a three-way pitch. Applications include corporate stationery, print and on-line communications, such as the www. house.co.uk website, vehicle livery and direct mail. Tone of voice and internal communications were also part of the brief, says British Gas senior brand manager Jane Bednall, though ‘the name and the flame [logo] were out of scope’.
A strapline – Doing The Right Thing – has been devised and the brand refreshed with a new typeface and colourways that ‘build on the blueness of British Gas’, says Enterprise IG global client director Philip Hodson. Creative director on the project was Frederic Boucher.
Since the domestic gas and electricity sectors were deregulated, utility companies have been developing ‘value-added’ offers to insulate them from new competitors and deepen their relationships with customers.
According to Bednall, most consumers are ‘plagued with insecurities’ about whether maintenance people will turn up and whether they will ‘rip me off’. British Gas wants to position itself like ‘an excellent maitre d’, she says.
The company is moving towards ‘single billing’ for the services it provides, while particular types of cover can be purchased for less than £10 per month.