When did you join EnerCom and what is your role?
I joined EnerCom as Art Director in May 2021. I’m thrilled to be working with a talented team of smart, hard-working individuals with diverse backgrounds and skill sets.
What is your background?
I have been a graphic designer for over 20 years, working in education, non-profits, startups, technology and now energy. I enjoy designing websites, identity and branding, reports, environmental and trade show graphics, digital media and presentations. While the energy industry is relatively new to me, the design principles are the same no matter the project: listen to the client to learn their needs and discover the most appropriate and compelling design solution to communicate a client’s message to their stakeholders and the world.
What’s top-of-mind for you in design right now?
Two design concepts that are resonating lately for me are: telling your story and engaging audiences in an authentic way.
More and more, people want to know what they’re buying (and investing in), and from whom. As Millennials occupy more of the workforce and leadership positions within organizations, the focus is on storytelling and authenticity has grown. More than one third of American workers are Millennials. And they care about where the things we consume come from and who made them.
“Engaging audiences in an authentic way…” how should companies think about doing with their own brands?
It starts with an open and realistic look at what a brand is today and where it is going. At EnerCom we call that the “Brandstorming” process. We sit with leadership, talk, and listen as we facilitate a process that helps define the five elements of a brand—Brand Position, Brand Promise, Brand Personality, Brand Story and Brand Associations.
A good brand foundation lends itself to authentic communication—from design to the way companies talk about themselves. Communicating your narrative to investors, constituents, and consumers provides opportunities to be transparent and allows your audience to know what your company stands for. This, in turn, helps to develop trust, to influence behavior, and to inspire action.
How do you work with clients to authentically engage their audience visually?
Along with the words you use, imagery is a way to visually communicate who you are to your audience. Companies that are not directly consumer-facing have to worry a little less about flooding social media channels with compelling photographs about how Product X will make life better. But imagery still matters as it is the first visual engagement anyone has with a brand. It’s important to engage your audience in a genuine way. Do you employ a diverse workforce? Feature your employees and culture on your website careers page and on LinkedIn. Are you located in a great building or region? Make a video showcasing your acreage, office building and surrounding area. Are you actively finding ways to reduce carbon emissions and protect animals and nature? Use that to your advantage through an ESG report. And be sure to use authentic, operational photography (not stock, if possible), which lends credibility to your message.
Why is telling your story important?
If you have built your brand foundation well the “story” reinforces all the brand elements. Storytelling—using a narrative to communicate your message in your brand voice— is marketing and helps stakeholders and customers understand why they should care about something.
I think there is a real opportunity for energy companies humanize their story and brand. As a society, we interact every day with energy, but we rarely connect as a consumer with how it was generated. For some in the energy sector, this could mean focusing on employees—the people that help fuel our cars, heat our homes and enable our lifestyles—or on the land where our energy resources come from and how your company is working to preserve the natural environment while providing the fuel we need to live.
What does “brand voice” mean to you?
Whether they realize it or not, every brand has a voice. Your brand voice is essentially who you are and how you to talk to your audience. Are you casual or formal? Are you modern or classic? Honing your brand voice is a crucial ingredient to successful engagement. Identifying key words that describe who you are and who you are not helps to hone your brand voice and keep messaging consistent—a key component to building and maintaining brand trust. You can communicate your message—in your unique brand voice—every time you engage and audience through your website, advertising, social media channels, or via an ESG report. I love working with clients to find their voice and make it consistent across all their communications channels.
People want to know who you are and EnerCom can help you tell them. From our “Brandstorming” process to art direction and design to writing and data/metrics, EnerCom is a full-service agency that will help you hone your brand voice and tell your story, authentically.
What are you most looking forward to in 2022?
I’m looking forward to learning about new technology and innovation within the energy sector at The Energy Venture Investment Summit presented by EnerCom and Colorado School of Mines in February 2022. I’m super enthusiastic about how EnerCom can help facilitate relationships between startups and investors to fuel their ideas and bring new technology to market.
Want to ask Erin your own questions?
Get it touch at [email protected] or by calling (303) 296.8834 ext.243.