South East Water

Using brand to increase customer advocacy

With new Ofwat regulations on the horizon, South East Water (SEW) was focused on increasing customer satisfaction scores. But as a utility with monopoly status in its region, it had never had to focus on what really drives customer advocacy. Or, to put it another way, what makes people content to pay their bill?

A discovery process combining customer surveys and regional focus groups led to clarity on the consumer mindset… and a 360 degree change in brand approach and messaging. Put simply, when customers clearly understand what businesses do and the complexities involved, positive perception of value increases and they are more supportive.

So the key to the brand challenge was to highlight that supplying pure water to homes was far from easy – it ‘didn’t just fall from the sky’. On the contrary, it was complex and demanding, and required highly specialised technical and scientific expertise.

Or as we put it, a bit of ‘pure knowh2ow’.

By changing SEW positioning to that of a skilled engineering business, customer satisfaction increased and targets were met.