Communication Strategies for OptimaSolar
Marketing & communications in small cooperatives with little expertise and a small marketing budget is a real challenge. This project provides OptimaSolar Switzerland with insights on how to improve their communications in order to increase the success of their cooperative.
Gulraiz Khan & Gauri Chauhan & Dena Spaar & Joel Balsiger & Patrik Stöckmann, 2024
Art der Arbeit Projektarbeit/Praxisprojekt
Auftraggebende OptimaSolar Schweiz
Betreuende Dozierende Tillessen, Joachim
Keywords solar energy; communications; marketing; cooperative
OptimaSolar Switzerland is a cooperative with currently seven cooperative branches in Switzerland. They offer PV contracting, which involves building a photovoltaic system on large rooftops in exchange for a fixed, affordable price per kWh. OptimaSolar has struggled to find enough roof owners to make their roofs available for contracting, particularly in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. At the same time, they need new cooperative members, especially in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. They, therefore, need a successful communication strategy to reach their customers.
After careful consideration with OptimaSolar about their opportunities and limitations, the market was examined more closely through an in-depth literature review and online research on the Swiss solar energy market. To arrive at recommendations to reach more roof owners, models from the literature were brought together with the reality of OptimaSolar. To obtain recommendations to reach more cooperative members, three French cooperative branches were interviewed to learn more about the culture and behaviour in the French-speaking part.
As a cooperative, OptimaSolar is characterised by core values centred on a commitment to not-for-profit, participative decision-making, reliance on dedicated volunteers and a strong emphasis on sustainability. These values must be at the heart of its communications.
The communications strategy for the near future emphasises a focus on key channels, with particular emphasis on the importance of personal websites for organisations such as OptimaSolar Switzerland and its cooperatives. While recognising the generally good quality of these websites, minor improvements are suggested, such as integrating all social media platforms to increase member engagement.
LinkedIn and Facebook are identified as key communication channels for the specific customer segments of OptimaSolar. Another recommended marketing tool for OptimaSolar is the creation of a distinctive slogan that encapsulates its core values, which helps with brand recognition. An image film would be another key success factor in introducing the cooperative to people. This would involve creating a visually compelling 1-2 minute film that showcases the values, initiatives and PV contracting model of OptimaSolar.
Studiengang: Business Administration International Management (Bachelor)