If you’re a fan of The Simpsons, then you may remember an episode in which Homer accidentally creates a signature drink that Moe re-brands as a “Flaming Moe.” That unique beverage makes Moe’s Tavern famous…at least for a time. Here’s a clip:
While it’s a funny episode that satirizes Cheers and hot nightclubs, there’s a serious solar marketing lesson here: Whatever solar service you’re marketing today, you need to have your own Solar Flaming Moe. That is, you need to be known for something that no one else has or does, and you need to promote the hell out of that uniqueness until everyone knows you for that Solar Flaming Moe.
That task can be somewhat easier with patented solar products, and yet many installers still see solar PV panels and other components as commodities. Since that’s the case, then solar marketers need to do a better job of defining and publicizing their patented Solar Flaming Moe — the product’s unique added value that nobody else has.
With solar installers, EPCs, and solar leasing services, defining their particular Solar Flaming Moe becomes more challenging, especially with today’s competition. They need to define themselves beyond 0-down installations and experience, since all installers, leasing companies, and EPCs have experience today and all leasing companies offer 0-down options. So, what else is there?
For one thing, there’s customer service. What extra-mile helpful, thoughtful thing do you do that no one else does? Perhaps that’s your Solar Flaming Moe. If you can’t think of that aspect immediately, that’s when you probably need to get your sales and marketing team together and create some type of guerilla marketing customer added value that makes people remember you and talk about you.
But be careful. You can’t copy or pick a Solar Flaming Moe out of nowhere. If it isn’t authentic and true to your solar company, then it probably will fall flat and your customers will see through that contrivance. If not customer service, then perhaps your Solar Flaming Moe is Solar Moe. That is, perhaps your owner or CEO has a dynamic personality that you can promote in videos and commercials and live events. Company spokespeople can be very powerful, but once again, they must be authentic.
Or perhaps your Solar Flaming Moe is an icon or logo that strongly symbolizes your company’s mission statement. Do you even remember your mission statement? If not, reread this Solar Fred post, and then apply that to everything you do, including your logos and symbols.
The bottom line is that all solar companies, regardless of product or service, need a Solar Flaming Moe that’s not only relevant to their business, but also to their customers. That’s the way… to UnThink Solar.
Tor Valenza a.k.a. “Solar Fred” is a solar marketing and communications consultant and the author of Solar Fred's Guide to Solar Guerrilla Marketing. Sign up for the Solar Fred Marketing Newsletter, or contact him through UnThink Solar. You can also follow @SolarFred on Twitter.
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