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How to brand a hi-tech solution with low-tech magic. The Solar Tracking Tree.

February 22nd, 2011 · 4 Comments

In the green energy world, technology is king. Yet most customers, regulators, media and even many savvy investors don’t have the time or inclination to wrap their busy brains around a technologically complex brand. That’s why it’s so powerful when an idea is concentrated down to its simplest premise with a brand anyone can understand.

The Solar Tracking Tree is just such a moniker. In three simple words, this name describes many attributes of the product. It is a ‘solar’ solution, with all the energy-collecting imagery that implies. It tracks the sun, offering a dynamic advantage over static panels. But the real brilliance in this name is actually calling it a tree.

Who doesn’t like trees? Trees provide shade. Trees are green. Trees are friendly. With this one happy word, the company that promotes this product has brought it out of the cold, calculating, technical world, into a realm of natural, earth-friendly solutions.

When I saw the name ‘Solar Tracking Tree’ I immediately got a mental picture, and my curiosity was peaked. Their simple web site with its large, engaging video, answered my questions, and the leasing option made me wish I had a parking lot of my own to try them out on.

Branding can do a whole lot more than just describe. It can put a product or service into a whole new mindspace. Good job, Solar Tracking Tree. You get this week’s ‘Wish I’d Done That’ Award.

Tags: Green Creative · Sustainable Products

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rob_ // Feb 23, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Solar Tracking Mounts are not new. They have been around for a long time. But the claim that they are “offering a dynamic advantage over static panels” is not necessarily true.

    It is true that tracking mounts can produce more energy then the same sized static mounted system. But they also cost more. And for that additional cost you could add one or two more modules and get the same production.

    And tracking mounts have one major is disadvantage. They have moving mechanical parts which require maintenance. A static PV system requires very little maintenance.

    That is why even though tracking systems have been around for a long time few are being installed.

    This fall I did a cycling tour down the pacific coast and saw many static pv systems. I also one tracking system. It had the solar panels removed and was rusting in a field.

    I see this sort of thing all the time. A flashy animation of a “new” renewable energy product that looks cool. But if you dig a little deeper it may not be the best solution.

    My advice is to always consult an expert before jumping on any “green” energy bandwagon.

  • 2 admin // Feb 23, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Thanks, Rob. Good caveats on simpler-is-better. In fact, if they were static panels and just called ‘Solar Trees’ I would like that brand idea even more!

  • 3 Rob_ // Feb 23, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    I do agree that this is a great branding / marketing concept.

  • 4 Lori Popkewitz Alper // Feb 23, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Very interesting concept. Ingenious that they are programmed to track the sun. Too bad that they are cost prohibitive and potentially need additional maintenance. I say “A” for concept and effort!

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