Any enterprise faces its share of struggles these days, and market intelligence reveals people are overwhelmingly wary of large organizations’ environmental impacts. Some tech giants have made moves to get ahead of these concerns by contributing positively to global efforts – and consumers are taking note. We’ll explore some of those efforts, along with consumer response and what that could mean for brands below!
Consumers are extremely sensitive to renewable energy concerns, as we can see from the increasing conversational volume and impressions from March 2020 to September 2021.
All entities have their work cut out for them when it comes to generating viable renewable energy sources while avoiding the ire of the masses. And we see tech giants leading the charge with market intelligence to help create options that can push that needle in the right direction.
We’ll take a closer look at the renewable energy conversation – and its impacts, with a market research focus on:
- Tech giants’ renewable energy efforts
- Applying consumers’ renewable energy needs to brand messaging
Renewable energy has grown tremendously just in the last ten years. There’s still a long way to go, as these stats suggest:
- Hydroelectric power generation remains the world’s largest renewable energy source accounting for more than 60% of renewable energy generation.
- Wind and solar power are modern sources of renewable energy that are seeing rapid growth across many areas of the world. In 2019, about 1% of the world’s energy came from solar, and 2% came from wind power.
- Renewable energy made up 2 percent of global electricity in 2018. That’s forecast to hit 45% by 2040 – generated mainly through wind, solar, and hydropower.
As with any trending conversation, market intelligence is the name of the game to stay on the right side of consumer sentiment. Let’s take a look!
Tech Giants’ Renewable Energy Efforts
If you’ve done any social listening-based market research at all over the past few years, then you’re aware of how much consumers care about things like sustainability, climate change, and renewable energy. These topics are the darlings of consumers these days, and they’re going out of their way to support brands innovating in the right direction – and they’re definitely talking about them online too.
— DTM (@DerekTMcKinney) December 10, 2020
Tech giants like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and others are leading the global renewable energy push – which is excellent both for the planet and their consumers. They alone account for 30% of purchased renewable energy from corporations globally. They’ve done their due diligence on the market intelligence front and have become first movers in the push for renewables to offset and eventually displace their carbon footprints.
According to a press release, Amazon announced 14 more new energy projects at the end of June, based in the US, Canada, Finland, and Spain. This is part of the company’s goal to power all of its activities with renewables by 2025 – five years earlier than its original goal of 2030.
And this has become a trending activity among the world’s top tech companies. They’re using their enormous resources to finance renewable energy projects across the globe, in addition to making commitments to buy renewable energy over long periods at an agreed price.
Amazon is leading the world at this point for corporations committed to buying renewable energy. It’s a trend among tech giants at this point that is leading many to believe corporations are now more effective at driving renewables than government subsidies.
Facebook is another front runner in the renewables market. According to the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, Facebook was the biggest corporate buyer of clean energy in 2018 and 2019. While Amazon has captured the top spot this year, Facebook is well on its way to reaching its goal of net-zero supply chain emissions by 2030.
Google is also spearheading the adoption of renewables, first achieving 100% renewable energy back in 2017. And they’ve done it every year since then by signing agreements to purchase their power from over 50 renewable energy projects worldwide.
Increased data usage, computer processing, and cloud networks push renewable energy purchases across the board for big tech companies. Consumers are hungry for these services, especially as 5G networks come online and more people work and attend school from home.
Big tech has been doing its market research and leading the charge with renewables to offset and eventually displace their carbon footprint. Market intelligence already shows this is a massive point of contention for consumers, and the technology industry is pushing the world in the right direction. And that’s evident by the significant uptick in renewable production over the past 15 years.
Many other tech companies such as Microsoft and AT&T have substantial initiatives in place, helping spur the renewable energy revolution. And brands wanting to get in on the conversation need to get in on the ground floor with actionable market intelligence.
Applying Consumers’ Renewable Energy Needs to Brand Messaging
When a strong consumer opinion comes on your brand’s radar, where do you begin to get to the heart of the matter? There’s always a lot of noise, and separating that out is crucial to understanding the ever-changing voice of the customer. The renewable energy conversation is no different.
The renewable discussion online is colossal, but market intelligence depends on the ability to break it down into its component parts to understand volume, movement over time, and sentiment – at the very least.
For example, below we’ve brought in the top themes from the renewable conversation on social media over the last 27 months into our platform to get an overarching view:
It’s not enough for brands to post in support of renewable energy efforts and call it a day, of course – but this is a mistake that many make when adopting social justice and other timely and consumer-centric concerns, so it deserves mention here.
Using your market research tools to understand where you can insert yourself into the conversation is critical. But you have to be doing something too. Consumers are over brands that are all talk and no action. Too many jump on the trend of the day but have nothing of substance to offer. That’s another topic worthy of market research!
This is why adopting a holistic viewpoint requires understanding precisely what is top of mind with consumers. As we can see above, some of the main topics include fossil fuels, carbon emissions, tax credits, electric vehicles, wind farms, power purchase agreements, and even bitcoin mining.
And although it’s great to know what’s being talked about, that is not enough. Where is the conversation in its lifecycle? If a trend is on the way out, then you are misspending your energy and your budget. Timing is critical.
Here’s a snapshot of the top conversations laid out in a timeline view. It’s clear that after a drop-off in volume at the onset of the pandemic, the renewables topic has regained momentum – and then some.
Growth like this means social media users have become heavily invested in the topic. Knowing this, it pays to be discretionary in how you approach your messaging. That’s where market research comes in so your brand can align with this trend in a way that is beneficial to your brand and your consumers. And it has to be backed up with action.
Consumer opinion drives net sentiment online and lets us know what they love and what they don’t. This analysis of renewables spanning over two years reveals that consumer sentiment is massively popular, standing at 63% positivity on a scale of -100 to 100. And a peek at the conversation (by way of a sentiment-driven word cloud) offers insight around why that is:
And once you know the overarching topics in a social conversation with upward momentum, you can dig into relevant sub-topics to see what consumers care about, specifically. Then you can adjust your sails to capture the winds of consumer opinion, creating initiatives and innovations that speak to your target audiences’ specific desires. That’s market intelligence.
All talk and no action is just fluff. And consumers have caught onto brands stringing them along. Brands moving to the head of emerging trends do so by backing up their messaging with meaningful initiatives and resonate with consumers.
Is your brand poised for action? Reach out for a demo, and we’ll show you how market intelligence can put your brand out in front of the competition through actionable market research.