EO Charging, a UK-based electric vehicle charging company founded in 2015, is searching for new creative and media agencies as it aims to expand on its rapid growth of the past few years.
The brand, founded by entrepreneur Charlie Jardine, is working with Ingenuity on the process and has drawn up intriguing shortlists in both disciplines.
Four agencies with very different profiles – Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Mother, independent shop Impero and Deloitte-owned Acne – are in contention for EO’s creative business.
Two of the key representatives of the newer generation of digitally focused media agencies, Brainlabs and Croud, will go head-to-head for the media account.
The process is currently at the tissue stage and there is no fixed schedule, with appointments expected to be made in the second half of 2021. Before now, EO has worked with a single small regional agency.
EO is a high-performing business in a booming sector. In March, it was ranked 27th in the FT1000, the Financial Times' list of the fastest-growing companies in Europe, with a compound annual growth rate of 210.7% between 2016 and 2019, the period the list is based on. It has grown from just 15 employees in 2019 to more than 100 today.
Speaking to Campaign, Miles Freeman, marketing director at EO, said that fleet managers were a key growth area for the company – although it also sells to consumers with home charging stations, which are likely to be in growing demand as the UK heads towards a ban on sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030.
“We're looking to target fleet managers and large corporations that are looking to switch to electric and ultimately meet their sustainability goals,” Freeman said. But the marketing work he is planning “will branch both customer sets”, he said – B2B, including smaller businesses, and B2C. “This is more about positioning our brand, and helping us create a brand that can launch into new markets around the world."
EO operates in about 30 countries, with key international markets including Australia, New Zealand and Thailand. Freeman said the intention was for the new agencies to work across all of them.
Last month, it secured a deal to be the official charging partner for Amazon in the UK and Ireland, providing charging stations for the ecommerce giant’s delivery fleet in those countries.
The Amazon deal, Freeman said, “has enabled us to really invest in the things that we see as important for the future and one of those is brand creative, and working with agencies that can help us reach our aspirations, whether that's here in the UK or abroad”.
Commenting on the four creative agencies in the mix, he said: “Each one we feel brings a real different expertise and experience to the table. Ingenuity helped us pull together a list that we thought best reflected our brand and our aspirations.
“Each one we felt brought a really unique approach to the challenge we face, whether that's using data to inform creative or whether that was potentially being a bit more punchy in how we present ourselves to the world. So we're really excited by the final four.”
Freeman said that while digital channels – “a great way to get in front of the evolving profile of a fleet manager” – would be central to his media plans, he is open to a range of ideas. “Out-of-home or print could have a huge impact for us in terms of brand, but to be defined with the agency that we appoint. We are asking them to come to us with a strategy as to how to win.
“The biggest thing for us is data. If a company can provide the proof point for us that says this is where fleet managers exist, this is where they behave and this is how you can influence change – we'll be fully receptive to that.”
Duncan Wood, managing partner at Ingenuity, said: “We love working with progressive, exciting brands and that's what EO are. They have an energised marketing team and Ingenuity's unique knowledge of the modern agency landscape will hopefully help them find the perfect agency mix.”