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New power brands switch on

SYNERGY, Verve, Horizon and Western Power are open for business as the four new stand-alone energy corporations to come out the state government’s energy reform program. Western Power will focus on maintaining and upgrading the network while Synergy will manage accounts and connections. Verve will produce the energy and Horizon will look after all of these functions in the Kimberley, Pilbara and parts of the Mid-West and Goldfields. Brand campaigns are in full swing for the new businesses, which are aiming to make a rapid and energetic impact on the consuming public. Synergy brand and communications manager Roslyn Toth said the company had a modest budget of $300,000 to build a brand model together with advertising agency 303, as well as to launch Synergy across 15 billboard sites, bus shelters and in the press. “We had to assess the existing brand by surveying six large focus groups from across our residential, high-end and business market and discovered what comprises an ideal energy retailer,” she said. Ms Toth said the name Synergy, which came out of that research, means working with two individual parts but also encompasses the values of the business in seizing opportunities, building quality relationships, approaching work with an inspired outlook and being trustworthy. BrainCELLS account director Peter Loveridge is the mind behind the brand Verve. He said the process from name to logo took an average of three months. “Naming is an increasingly difficult concept in the energy market with two million names already registered in the sector,” he said. Mr Loveridge said the name needed to represent not just the generation of electricity but also the energy and enthusiasm of the new company moving forward. The logo was developed to incorporate a “turbine blade image” above the name Verve, generating a forward motion and momentum. Brand agency Mindfield was approached in mid 2005 to research and workshop the ‘brand essence’ of the new regional power representative, emerging with Horizon. Mindfield partner Scott Glendinning said empowerment was the key essence in Horizon and that the split of Western Power would only enhance this essence. Mindfield wanted clear recognition of the brand in regional areas and designed a bold logo that could be recognised from a distance on company vehicles and working teams. “A horizon is always with you and behind you and this symbolises the new relationship between the company and its regional customers,” Mr Glendinning said. Western Power kept its design brief in-house and allowed an IT employee to design the corporation’s logo. Computer systems officer Kate Tuleja said market research had indicated customers wanted a down-to-earth, approachable, environmentally aware and technologically advanced energy network company. “I wanted to represent the power grid expanding in all directions within my design and purposely avoided power lines. The letter ‘p’ symbolically taps in to underground power, which is a main commitment of the company to convert Perth into underground power in the future,” she said. The state government owns the new operations and each has a board of directors appointed by Energy Minister Francis Logan. The government has no current plans to privatise the businesses.

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