ENERGY | Rebranding

Background

Westar Energy is the electric utility for eastern Kansas. Since 2013, I have helped lead a repositioning of the company and a revision of their brand identity across all channels.

Challenge

We began a deep dive into Westar Energy’s brand in 2013 and built a brand that better reflected the human touch behind Westar's service while engaging all of their customers on a more personal level. Because customers cannot choose their electric provider, there is a deep-seated distrust that Westar long had battled. A financial scandal in the 1990s also eroded trust.

Solution

We helped Westar reposition itself as a good neighbor and an organization committed to moving Kansas forward, particularly with renewable energy sources. We focused more on measuring sentiment through social channels as a gauge of progress.

As the creative leader on the team, I also helped educate and guide Westar’s internal branding team in strategy, design and writing, and helped them make better decisions that align with the brand refresh. 

One of the challenges we faced was limited budget. For Westar’s vegetation management campaign in 2013, we did not have enough budget to travel and shoot a TV spot, so we wrote a commercial and used stock footage. We learned that saving money not only affects Westar’s bottom line, but it also affects public perception.

Art direction & design // Chris Ralston    
Writer // John Carlton    Research // Kent Stones