Manufacturers Score With Differentiation And Brand Loyalty In Growing PV Markets

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Photovoltaic installations in Europe have been growing significantly; PV markets are booming. In addition, the ‘Green Deal’ raises CO2 emission reduction targets in EU countries, which in turn will lead to an additional, unexpected expansion of solar systems. While a capacity of 21 GW new photovoltaic systems were installed in 2020, a significant growth of 21 percent is forecasted for the present year. Although all segments continue on this growth path, especially large-scale plants are expected to grow more rapidly.

Especially in growing markets, solar installers are confronted with a large number of component and system suppliers.

The latest „Global PV InstallerMonitor 2020/2021“ by market and economic research company EUPD Research shows that German installers are faced with about 60 module manufacturers and about half as many inverter suppliers. Study findings reveal that installers tie themselves less exclusively to a manufacturer but rather carry more and more several suppliers for individual components in their portfolio.

Because of the loss of brand exclusivity in installers’ portfolio over the last five years, additional competition arises from winning over installers. However, installers are aware of their role as essential market intermediaries and are open for new suppliers. Thus, the differentiation from competitive component manufacturers has become more important than ever.

Despite that, solar installers as well as end consumers look for guidance in a more and more complex energy world to differentiate competitive suppliers and products. How important awards and seals are, can repeatedly be seen in a number of EUPD Research studies. A comparison of current European PV markets shows that 70-98 percent of surveyed installers consider customer satisfaction seals as “very important” or “important”.

In order to support manufacturers and installers alike, EUPD Research developed a complex analysis model to identify market players with a successful brand management. Regular installer surveys form the basis for the analyses. Besides brand awareness and -positioning in solar installers’ portfolios, recommendation levels, loyalty and customer satisfaction are being measured.

Independent analyses and findings resulted in the prestigious and recognized award “Top Brand PV’, which stands for objectivity and reliability. Hence, the award is frequently being used for differentiation in a competitive environment.

Manufacturers of components – such as modules, inverters, energy storage and wall boxes – as well as wholesalers use the positive results of the analyses in many European countries to showcase their brand success and loyalty in specific countries in order to stand out from competition.

Moreover, a small circle of top brands is proudly carrying the “Top Brand PV Europe” award for a number of researched countries over many years. With it, they do not only prove a consistent product quality and comprehensive service across Europe, but they also showcase their sustainability in the market.

Sven Armbrecht, Head of EU Sales, LG Electronics: “Receiving the ‘Top Brand PV Europe’ since more than eight years, is a strong validation of our successful work. It supports us with the positioning in a competitive market. Furthermore, it helps us to strengthen our commitments with those partners, who do not just appreciate highest quality and reliability, but participate in thought-out solution that are being offered to end consumers in a professional and service-oriented manner.”

“As one of the founders of the ‘Top Brand PV’ award, I am particularly proud that our continuous Top Brand PV evaluation has enjoyed such a high priority in the market. It enables a valid pre-qualification for the purchase decision process of installers and end consumers alike. The positive appreciation of our award for increasing brand loyalty through performance is both, an incentive and obligation for us to continue this sustainable analysis process”, comments Leo Ganz, Partner, EUPD Research.

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