Fuel Cell Energy

 
Reposition fuel cell technology as ultra clean, rivaling renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. Enhance the company's visibility in the renewable energy market, and build company value.

Challenge

Fuel Cell Energy is a technology company with a rich history of development projects for institutions and government, but with a desire to fully commercialize it’s capabilities for the global Alternate Energy market. The primary challenge for the company was to position its technology, which was seen as a clean technology but not a renewable technology, alongside wind and solar technologies and compete for public and private energy investment. To do this, the company would have to dramatically increase it’s visibility in energy-dependent commercial markets, define its technical advantages over wind and solar, and change its product positioning to better align itself with the decision-making process in the marketplace.

Solution

Ward Hill Marketing developed a strong positioning strategy for the company, in which fuel cell technology was marketed as “ultra clean, 24/7 energy” against solar and wind, which had their limits based on prevailing weather, and as a renewable (non-fossil-fuel) technology in applications that took advantage of a fuel cell’s “fuel flexibility” to utilize on-site methane waste gas. We implemented the market message in a three-phase approach, beginning with a comprehensive web site that ably presented Fuel Cell Energy’s technical prowess, gave extensive coverage to commercial installations in as many as six separate markets, and created the fundamental building blocks for an extensive lead generation and qualification system, all while supporting the outbound communication needs of a public company. Next, the literature system was completely reorganized to place focus on high-potential commercial system designs and to communicate the technical superiority of the Fuel Cell Energy products. This became additional content for the web site, while serving as a complete sales support strategy, from technology brochure to product sheets.

And last, an extensive “media umbrella” was established, consisting of print and digital advertising, enhanced with eDirect mail and eNewsletters to targeted customer audiences. An aggressive, two-year and technical article campaign firmly established Fuel Cell Energy as a major player in the Alternate Energy market, and drove a high volume of leads to the web site for qualification and follow-up.

Result

Fuel cell technology became better understood as a viable alternative to fossil fuel and pure renewable energy. Fuel Cell Energy’s market cap rose substantially, while during the same period major competitors lost value. The company is positioned for future growth with a comprehensive set of marketing tools that explain the technology, the products, and the company as a solution for the growing need for commercial power.