Petroleum and Butterflies…

I have been reflecting on the a branding model theory and the recent EnerWE Conference held in Stavanger, Norway. The biggest query facing  the North Sea energy industry is addressing the communication challenge: “the Elephant in the room”. Watch the video presentation from the conference.

So what do Petroleum and Butterflies have in common?  The petroleum industry has a communication challenge and the Butterfly Branding Model from Wolf Olins has a possible solution. Since the discovery of petroleum as an energy source, it has drastically improved the quality of life for mankind since the early 1900s, yet the industry has failed at every turn to convey this message.

This is not a new topic for the oil industry. Some companies started incorporating sustainable business practices as early as 2007. So why is there such a chasm in communicating this concept? Can solid branding strategies lead to strong social media plans which result in increased ROI?

This theory is exemplified through the Butterfly Branding Model. Let’s now take a look at the elements of the model and apply the concept strategy to the petroleum industry.

Butterfly Branding Model

The Butterfly Branding Model Strategy:

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY? Perceived as greedy and environmentally destructive, lack of transparency, denial and cover-ups.

WHAT MAKES THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY SPECIAL? Petroleum is an energy source that has simplified and drastically improved the quality of life for mankind since the early 19th century.

 IDEA/Branding Foundation: Continued focus on sustainable business practices is vital. While focusing on improvements in the quality of life for the individual and the community, petroleum companies will have the opportunity to connect with communities (customers and or consumers) on a human to human level which will result in optimized feedback, innovative solutions and possible improvements in production methods. ROI can be shared satisfying the stakeholders, the company sustainability and the new focus of investments back into the local community. Revitalization of local parks, farms and community activities for children and elderly should be in focus to gain a connection and become involved with the consumers.

How does the industry communicate this to the public? The petroleum industry needs to believe in their mission, act in their mission and work their mission: Improve transparency. Strive for more economical, safer and less environmental destructive methods of drilling for energy recovery. Hence: “Sell to people that believe what you believe”. (which leads me to my next blog post).

Read more about Wolf Olins.

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