Filip Engel, Director – Sustainability, Public Affairs & Branding, DONG Energy
DONG’s communication strategy had disconnected them from their customers, the very people they work to create value for. This type of challenge is not unusual for our clients, but DONG Energy’s approach to solving the challenge was different. They were not on a mission to make the Danish population interested in them as an organisation – rather, they were on a mission to get to know the Danes. They were not focusing on their customers’ relationship to their services or products, but rather, on the everyday lives of real people.
In order for this to happen, they had to figure out what the Danish people are interested in. What drives them? What makes them tick? What are their concerns and hopes for the future? What do they see as The Good Life? And not least: how can DONG Energy’s journey from black to green energy become relevant for people’s everyday lives?
We conducted a qualitative study, and through digital self-documentation, observation and ethnographic interviews we achieved deep insights into what Danes think about the good everyday life, sustainability, the environment and the future.
By going out into the real world and talking to people about the good life, we found that there is one thing that connects us as modern human beings today: the overwhelming feeling that the world is changing at an ever more rapid pace, and that we need to navigate a world that grows more complex every day.
We saw very clearly that this was a shared frame of reference for many different people, but we also saw that people have widely different strategies for navigating this complexity.
We saw three distinct worldviews, which greatly affect people’s attitudes towards, for instance, environmental issues, and identified how they should be approached. This provided DONG Energy with a new and deeper understanding of the role that environmental issues play in people’s minds and lives, and who they think holds the responsibility for creating a positive change.
DONG Energy’s focus on real people’s worldviews gave them new clues on how to tell their story in a way that resonates with the public. Some feel that DONG Energy should be the energy company for the Danish people, giving families advice on how to cut electricity costs in the home. For others, DONG Energy needs to enter the scene as a global player, who can affect international agendas and make a positive difference in the world.