‘Every employee has the potential to be a genius’

Global operator Energyst provides turnkey rental solutions for temperature control and power generation. The company originated as a joint venture between Caterpillar Inc. and 10 of its dealers. In the beginning of 2013, Energyst set up a global brand campaign to promote the new positioning based on customer intimacy. We spoke with CEO Gary Smith about the initial results of the campaign ‘Real energy comes from Energyst’ that, together with a cultural turnaround, will determine the brand’s future.

‘It is not the energy of our rental solutions, but the energy of our people that makes the difference.’

GARY SMITH – CEO ENERGYST

Has the new positioning started to produce results?

‘It is really beginning to work. Because of the campaign and certainly also because of the effort we make. It does, however, need time. Five years ago, we had, for example, a prospect who did not opt for our solution. We said at the time, “Our competitor’s solution will cost more fuel than you can afford.” Nevertheless, we did not win the order. One and a half years later, the prospect called us and said, “you were right”.’

And does every employee feel that they are already a potential genius?

‘We still all have to embody the ‘Real energy comes from Energyst’ slogan much more. The future of Energyst and your role as a company employee in that future must be a shared dream. The change has to start with the managers. They have to create the climate that enables people to adopt a vulnerable attitude, because only then will the ‘Real Energy’ be revealed and you can show you are a genius in your field of work.’

What role does the Caterpillar brand endorsement play in your success?

‘CAT opens doors. The power of the brand is phenomenal. Engineers consider CAT products to be superior. We also benefit from their huge reach; CAT products are at work in every industry and, as a result, the company can be an immense help to us by providing information about specific customers’ situations. The familiar shadow effect of endorsement brands is of course a disadvantage. The CAT logo and brand familiarity are so strong that Energyst is still not always seen or remembered. For this reason, we are ensuring partly thanks to Canday’s cross-channel approach that we receive a greater share of attention increasingly more often. Ultimately we have to become just as valuable a partner to CAT as they are to us.’