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How branding helps benefits ring true

Posted on Categories BrandonomicsTags

David Quin, director of brand and communications strategies at CenterPoint Energy reveals the connection between the TrueCost branding and the ultimate benefit to electricity consumers.

Robin: Hello, and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I am Robin Tooms, vice president of strategy at Savage, and I am here today with David Quin, director of brand and communication strategies at CenterPoint Energy. So David, welcome to the show.

David: Robin, thank you for having me.

Robin: Well, wonderful. I’m so glad you’re here because I have been looking at True Cost, a new online electricity portal, and I want to learn more about some of the brand positioning behind this True Cost portal and the challenges that you face.

David: We actually face a couple of interesting brand challenges I think with True Cost, and the first is naming the product itself. There are other websites out there that are simple lists of electricity prices but we’re so much more than that; and secondly, we had a real challenge I think in, why CenterPoint Energy at all, right? Among residential customers, we’re probably best known as your natural gas utility than anything else, but for electricity, none of CenterPoint Energy’s companies – and there are an entire family of companies – sells electricity.

Robin: Well, then tell me about that True Cost name itself. So how does that uniquely embody those benefits?

David: What we think is really distinct about the site is, unlike those other sites that just list prices, we take that a step further. Did you know that right now, you could be signed up on an electric plan; your neighbor could be signed up on the exact same electric plan but the price you pay, the average price you pay for electricity, could be different and that’s based on fees and usage thresholds, and there are a variety of characteristics and kind of complex elements of electric plans. We take those and with your permission, we then download your electric use for your home, and we will show you how the different plans that you’re considering, how much they would actually cost you based on your historical usage.

Robin: Your True Cost brand message. That is wonderful. Thank you for making that connection for us.

David: Happy to do it.

Robin: Well, great. Well, thank you for being on the show, David. Join us next week for another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.


CenterPoint Energy is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission and distribution, natural gas distribution, interstate pipelines, field services, and competitive natural gas sales. The company’s vision is to be recognized as America’s leading energy delivery company… and more.

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