Utility Business Customers Want Trusted Utility Partners

New research shows that business customers want to work with utilities that they trust. When businesses have a strong brand relationship with their utility, they then view it as a trusted partner and seek its advice on energy topics. Business customers that have a strong relationship with their utility also show increased appreciation for their utility’s economic development activities and more frequently use its digital and consumption management offerings. These findings are from the 2018 Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Business Cogent Reports™ study by Market Strategies International.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180702005035/en/

(Graphic: Business Wire)

(Graphic: Business Wire)

High Brand Trust Enables Stronger Utility Influence with Business Customers

Low Moderate High
Utility business partner qualities     Brand Trust     Brand Trust     Brand Trust
Has programs that help the local economy 7% 19% 30%
Trust to keep account information secure 13% 29% 39%
A partner in aiding the success of our business 4% 15% 26%
A trusted advisor on energy topics 4% 17% 29%
Combined partner qualities 22% 53%



Conversely, falling Brand Trust relates to diminished business customer loyalty, advocacy and support for rate increases. In fact, only 28% of businesses with low trust want to purchase energy from their utility, while 40% of those with high trust levels want to use their utility to purchase their energy.

“A hallmark of top-performing utilities is they actively pursue trusted relationships with their business customers through economic development programs, providing product recommendations during service interactions and building programs that help customers succeed in business,” said Chris Oberle, a senior vice president at Market Strategies International. “Business customers are a main source of utility revenue, and customers with low trust will look to third parties for energy advice and guidance.”

Market Strategies congratulates 15 Most Trusted Utility Brands among business customers this year. The Brand Trust index is based upon 35 questions that relate to a suite of emotional attachment and management performance factors. The study also provides market demand profiles for over 60 value-added business customer offerings.

East Region     Brand Trust
Utility Brand Name     index
BGE 795
Con Edison 786
PSE&G 783
PPL Electric Utilities 748
PECO Energy 738
PSEG Long Island 725
Penelec 700
Jersey Central Power & Light 699
National Grid 697
West Penn Power 693
Eversource Energy 688
Appalachian Power 685
Midwest Region     Brand Trust
Utility Brand Name     index
Consumers Energy 751
DTE Energy 751
ComEd 744
Duke Energy Midwest 741
MidAmerican Energy 739
KCP&L 731
Xcel Energy – Midwest 731
Wisconsin Public Service 730
Ohio Edison 729
CenterPoint Energy – Midwest 728
We Energies 720
AEP Ohio 716
Alliant Energy 715
Ameren Illinois 704
Ameren Missouri 699
South Region     Brand Trust
Utility Brand Name     index
CenterPoint Energy – South 770
Georgia Power 760
Kentucky Utilities 758
Alabama Power 752
TECO Tampa Electric 741
Florida Power & Light 737
Dominion Energy Virginia 736
Entergy 735
Gulf Power 720
OG&E 717

Public Service Company of

Duke Energy Carolinas 712

Duke Energy Florida

Louisville Gas & Electric 707

Southwestern Electric Power

SCE&G 697
Duke Energy Progress 694

CPS Energy

West Region     Brand Trust
Utility Brand Name     index
Puget Sound Energy 778
Salt River Project 769
Southern California Edison 738
Rocky Mountain Power 732
Xcel Energy – West 723
Portland General Electric 721
NorthWestern Energy 717
SDG&E 716
Idaho Power 709
PG&E 702
APS 687
NV Energy 683
Pacific Power 678
PNM 659

About Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement: Business

Market Strategies conducted surveys among 8,903 business electric and combination utility customers of the 60 largest US utility companies (based on customer counts). Utilities are given equal weight to balance the influence of each utility’s customers on survey results. Market Strategies will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.

About Market Strategies International

Market Strategies International is a leading provider of research and consulting services to utility management, trusted by the world’s most successful organizations to help them thrive. We blend primary research with data from our syndicated, benchmarking and self-funded studies to provide clients with exceptional research insight that helps solve their challenges. Our research specialties include brand, communications, CX, product development and segmentation. Our syndicated products, known as Cogent Reports, help clients understand the market environment, explore industry trends and monitor their brand within the competitive landscape. Founded in 1989, Market Strategies is one of the largest market research firms in the world. Read Market Strategies’ blog at FreshMR, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.