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July 09, 2018
Want to be hyper-relevant to energy consumers? Become a “Living Business”
By: Michael Dary

Energy providers face a diverse spectrum of challenges and industry disruption that offers opportunities to create new customer value. Accenture research and analysis found that in the new energy ecosystem, the greatest sources of growth will come from downstream energy retail through new products, digitally-enabled services and intelligent value propositions. In fact, while retail energy currently accounts for about 10 percent of total industry value, we predict it will rise to about 24 percent through the introduction of new revenue opportunities over the next 10-15 years.

The customer end of the value chain is where to focus; creating a compelling consumer experience is how to thrive. After all, the digitization of everything means each interaction is a chance to deliver a winning experience – and become hyper relevant to customers. Doing so requires energy providers to achieve a new level of connectivity between marketing, operations and technology that goes beyond the commodity. In short, this level of adaptability requires energy providers to become “Living Businesses.”

What, exactly, is a Living Business? A Living Business recognizes that customer data and technology and marketing, sales and service are important. Yet they are no longer enough. Our research identified three key cultural qualities that make and keep companies hyper-relevant to customers:

  • Consistently delivering intelligent – data-driven customer, partner and employee experiences that adapt in real time to individual needs while staying true to their brand values.
  • Engaging in responsive innovation – the company’s infrastructure and culture are primed to embrace new ideas, behaviors and technologies effectives so they can anticipate and response quickly.
  • Becoming an agile organism with operating models that have broken down internal silos so knowledge reaches those who need it, when they need it leading to swift decision making.

To enable a cultural shift, our research found that high performing Living Business Utilities excelled across five capability sets that define vitality – the hallmark of a Living Business empowers them to become, and stay, hyper-relevant to customers:

  1. Target core and disruptive growth initiatives that fuel continuous innovation.

  2. Design products and services as hyper-relevant platforms that reflect vision and purpose.

  3. Build prototype and scale new and innovative experiences across a range of engagement channels and enable live feedback.

  4. Scale a broad and essential set of ecosystem partners and increase their ability to reach their market potential through platforms, partnerships and alliances.

  5. Rewire culture and workforces by infusing and powering a mindset that keeps customers at the core. Change structure, metrics, culture and more – so employees see explicitly how their work supports the goal of hyper-relevance.

In short, Living Businesses are able to transform at the speed of changing customer demands and deftly navigate disruption – nurturing the core while driving growth and enabling new, digitally enabled revenue streams.

Taking the Pulse of Living Businesses

Recent Accenture research underscores the necessity of every energy providers being a Living Business – and points to significant opportunity to increase vitality among energy providers.

Accenture’s study revealed that 90 percent of high-performing energy providers believe that their business needs a “much more iterative, dynamic, agile approach to doing business compared to three years ago.” What’s more, 80 percent agreed that “business reinvention is required to be successful in today’s context.” These leaders also know they need a new, customer-centric mindset, with 90 percent concurring that “customer expectations are increasingly shaped by the most relevant, real-time and dynamic experiences.” By contrast, much smaller proportions of lower-performing energy providers expressed agreement with these realities.

Living Business energy providers are actively positioning themselves for growth in a boundary-less connected energy economy. They’re balancing investments in core operations and new capabilities. They’re embracing a customer-centric mindset. And they’re consistently nurturing vitality – ensuring that they not only survive but thrive in the new energy ecosystem.

Explore the full Living Business study to learn more about what it takes to build vitality and who’s doing it well. Then check out Positively Charged for a deeper dive on opportunities to transform the core through intelligent customer operations, grow the core through personalization, and innovate and scale new connected energy solutions.

There is a strong link between high-vitality and high performance.

Click to expand.

There is a strong link between high-vitality and high performance.

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