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The Art of Solar Business Differentiation

Hi, I’m Russell French from Energetic Consulting. Today I wanted to have a conversation with you about the art of differentiating your solar businesses. This is just a brief overview and not an in-depth analysis. For more information you can contact us to set up coaching or strategy support.


In such a noisy and, and chaotic industry such as ours, it’s often very hard for consumers to make a decision between a business that’s trying to sell a six kilowatt solar system for $2500, or a business that’s trying to sell the same size of system for $6000, $7000 or $8,000, and how to help your business stand out and pop.

I call that the art of differentiation.

The art of differentiation looks like you understanding your unique selling proposition, your USP, understanding your customer value proposition, your CVP. And really being able to portray those to your customers based upon the values of your business. So having at least a core five values for your business, and understanding what your purpose is, who you want to be in the industry, and understanding what the vision is for the business and combining all these elements, so you look different to your customers.

What’s the difference between a USP and CVP?

So let’s just focus on your unique selling proposition and the customer value proposition and what the difference is. So a USP is how you are different from your competitors. What makes you different?

A customer value proposition is what value are you providing to those customers, and being able to detail in defensible and tangible terms which are very clear for the customer to understand.

Now, when we develop a USP and a CVP, those typically go on the website above the fold. So when a customer lands on your website, it’s immediately visible. Those two aspects are included in all your marketing materials and in your sales conversations. And it’s very easy for a customer to understand, wow, this is why I’m different.

Some ideas to differentiate

So for instance, if a solo retailer is just doing cheap pricing, and they’re just racing to the bottom, you can come in and educate the customer, and have a real conversation around the value that you’re bringing to them, and why you’re different.

So for instance, perhaps you’re using power optimisers or micro inverters. You can talk to why those systems are safer for your customers. You might be able to say you have some smart technology in the back end for data monitoring. And you can talk to how every system is data monitored. You might have a unique presentation that you make when you you might do a site visit for every customer and you have a unique presentation with unique software that presents in a really easy to understand way. Or analysing bills. Whatever it is, but you need to be unique in in a certain way that is easily presented to a customer, you need to have value that you provide.

And let me tell you, quality products and quality service is not enough in the solar industry.

That is your bare minimum entry level point to even be in the industry. If you don’t have those two things, then you’re not in business. Right? So what value are you bringing to your customers? Is it based on core values of your business? Do you have a particular purpose that you’re trying to impact the world with and you can communicate that and you have a certain vision for the business that you that you can communicate effectively as well?

So this is the art of differentiation. Get in contact with us so we can help you today with differentiating your business.



If you need help with your business or marketing needs, contact Energetic Consulting today and start creating raving fan customers!

Article by Russell French – Founder of Energetic Consulting Australia

Energetic-Consulting-Founder-Russell-FrenchRussell is a veteran of the Australian renewable energy industry of 17 years and an innovative business leader with a proven track record spanning over 20 years. Alongside Warwick Johnston of Sunwiz, and Donovan Craig, he is the co-founder of Sunfluence and Solar Guide, which are solar business automated marketing platforms and services to help solar retailers win more business.

He is also the Founder of Solar Social, a new and innovative meet-up bringing together like minded businesses and professionals to discuss innovation and the latest technology developments.

He has served as a Director for several well known renewable energy companies like:

  • Enphase Energy as their APAC Director and Australian Country Manager and brought the business to Australia and setup their operations in the region
  • Sungrow ($2.2B, world largest solar inverter manufacturer in partnership with Samsung SDI) as their Marketing & Strategy Director
  • Sun Empire as Founder and Managing Director. Sun Empire was a founding company member of the Clean Energy Council of Australia.

Russell has also worked in the award winning Sustainability Strategy team for the City of Melbourne developing the city’s renewable energy and solar program, and helped develop the new Solar & Storage division for one of Australia’s largest energy retailers, Red Energy which is owned by the iconic Snowy Hydro.

He served as the Secretary & Convenor for the Melbourne Chapter of the Smart Energy Council of Australia (formerly Australian Solar Council) for 5 years.


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