FreeWire Technologies is an energy storage company. It is the first organization to develop commercial mobile electric vehicle chargers. The company was established in February 2014 and its headquarters are in San Leandro, California. It has satellite offices in Honolulu and Los Angeles. The purpose of the present paper is to analyze the marketing strategy of FreeWire Technologies Company using the 7P framework for David Pearson’s book The 20 Ps of Marketing, and explore what new marketing strategies FreeWire can learn from New Belgium Breweries. The main findings were as follows:
Product: FreeWire Technologies develops mobile energy storage systems: Mobi Charger and Mobi Gen.
Promotion: FreeWire has been utilizing the media to promote the Mobi Charging and Mobi Gen. It has been making the press releases and giving advertisement in various magazines and daily newspapers.
Publicity: Government agencies and NGOs benefit from the organization’s mobile chargers that entail the least electrical infrastructure.
Place: FreeWire technologies avails its products at different stations for customers to access them
Price: Electric vehicle drivers are able to download FreeWire’s mobile app for Apple and Android devices at a cost of $6.50 per session
Partnership: FreeWire has collaborated with Eurotech and Siemens to improve its services.
People: FreeWire is working towards satisfying its employees by offering incentives and benefits to make them loyal to the company.
FreeWire Technologies can borrow the following marketing methods from New Belgium Breweries to improve their performance:
- Green market partnership
- Advertising on new Media
- Grass roots Efforts
Table of Contents
FreeWire Technologies Marketing Strategies
FreeWire Technologies is an energy storage company leading the way to develop first commercial mobile electric vehicle chargers. The battery-enabled chargers allow site hosts to save on electricity and infrastructure costs and create greater access to charging for drivers. The organization also provides a clean and quite mobile energy system that offers power for any device anywhere it is required to be used. Its vision is to build an accessible smart energy storage solution (FreeWire Technologies, 2006). The purpose of the present paper is to analyze the marketing strategy of FreeWire Technologies using the 7P framework for David Peterson’s book The 20 Ps of Marketing, and to explore what new marketing strategies FreeWire can learn from New Belgium Breweries.
1) To propose recommendation for FreeWire based on improving marketing practices
2) To describe the pricing strategies of FreeWire in Hawaii
3) To explain the market potentiality of Mobi Chargers and Mobi Gen in Hawaii
A lot of information was gathered from secondary sources, which included business wire databases, EBSCOhost articles, published data, company statements, magazines, newspaper articles, and company websites. The obstacle encountered in collecting data for this study included not being able to go to the field of Hawaii personally for survey of respondents for questionnaires and focusing more on the Mobi Charger product.
FreeWire Technologies develops mobile energy storage systems that provide clean, quiet power anywhere it is needed. Its first product line, Mobi Charger, comes in both Level 2 AC and Level 3 DC modifications and provides similar electric vehicle charging speeds as traditional fixed stations while totally disconnected from the grid. Its second product line, Mobi Gen, can power anything and is a drop-in replacement for diesel or gas generators in several cases. The two products share a similar architecture that utilizes second-life batteries to attain a considerable capacity at a fraction of the price of new batteries. A smart cloud-based platform is placed on top to offer operational resources for Mobi Chargers and asset management tasks for a network of Mobi Gens. (See Appendix 1)
FreeWire Technologies, the manufacturer of mobile electric vehicle chargers and mobile power systems, engages in numerous promotional programs to acquire and retain its clients. The company has formed many promotion campaigns (FreeWire Technologies Uses Eurotech IoT Gateway and Everyware Cloud Platform for Smart Energy Charging Systems, 2016).
The company has established promotional programs based on the market situation and its trend. It often follows normal promotional tools, such as advertising about its technology to inform clients and help them understand its products. It also employs aggressive promotional campaigns to attain sales and ensure that its target is met. FreeWire has been utilizing the media to inform and promote the Mobi Charging. It has been making the press releases and giving advertisement in various magazines and daily newspapers.
Electric vehicle drivers are able to download FreeWire’s mobile app for Apple and Android devices, complete profile and plug in the vehicle at a cost of $6.50 in every session. FreeWres’s Mobi is one among the best examples of a new technology operating with the present infrastructure to minimize the cost barriers for fast and simple implementation. FreeWire’s technology has enabled organizations to reduce their energy bills, as employees are likely to charge during the day when electricity prices are highest. With FreeWire mobile chargers, charging sessions are time-shifted; therefore, organizations always pay off-peak electricity rates. Paying off-peak rates assists employers to save a lot of money each month (FreeWire Technologies, 2006). (See Appendix 2)
FreeWire Technologies has been honored by the San Leandro Chambers of Commerce as the 2016 innovator of the year. Additionally, FreeWire recently announced that it has been chosen for State Contract 04016, labelling it as an authorized vendor for electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) in the State of Washington. Such designation allows government agencies and non-governmental agencies (NGOs like not-for-profit organizations and educational institutions) to easily obtain and use Level 2 and DC Fast Charging for electric vehicles (EV). Government agencies and NGOs can benefit from the organization’s mobile chargers that entail the least electrical infrastructure. (McKenzie, Block, & Center, 2016). Such agreement also enables entities in the State of Oregon to stick on the arrangement, which expands the possible utilization of FreeWire’s products in the entire Pacific Northwest. Furthermore, many states across the country encourage EV implementation for societal benefits, for instance, reduced air pollution and quieter streets. Hawaii also acknowledges and appreciates such benefits. Finally, FreeWire has been highlighted in Electric Vehicle Buddy, a collected online news source for the electric vehicle landscape, hence, making it popular. It was also ranked second for the 2015 safe energy security prize
FreeWire technologies avails its products at different stations for customers to access them. For example, two Mobi Chargers, battery-supported DC fast chargers for electric vehicle were placed at Honolulu’s Airport Trade center Paiea Street for public use. The chargers currently serve the need of many EV drivers on the road. (See Appendix 3)
While examining mobile carriers, FreeWire was introduced to Eurotech and discovered that it offered all the IoT communication pieces that they took much time trying to create in the house. FreeWire collaborated with Eurotech to establish a consistent, accessible communication set-up for the Mobi Charger. FreeWire Technologies also collaborated with Siemens in piloting and commercializing the Mobi Charger. They utilized the Siemens eCar Operation Center (OC) and the Siemens VersiCharge electric vehicle-charging technology (FreeWire Partners with Siemens to Make EV Charging for Businesses Easier and Faster to Deploy, 2015).
The company is working towards satisfying its employees by offering incentives and benefits to make them loyal to the company. During festivals, staffs are offered festive bonuses, such as double salary. Additionally, employees are given a sales target and they receive commissions on each product they sale. Several other bonuses and recreational trips are offered to employees once a year. The company also organizes visits to different places for various trainings.
New Belgium Breweries (NBB) is the American darling of sustainable Premium Craft Beer. The company is known for its support of the local communities, and involved and responsible workforce. It also provides consumers with excellent premium craft beer. NBB has identified five strategic options as practical solutions to its expansion without turning away from its customer base (Mullins & Larreche, 2006).They include the following:
Such a marketing strategy is an alternative that involves NBB establishing partnership with distributers that foster sustainability, for instance, Whole Foods and Trade Joe’s.
NBB uses prevalent social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to network with the consumer base and present new product concepts and ideas to its brand followers. Such technique makes it possible to reach a younger audience that resonates with its ideas. Additionally, NBB have initiated a large variety of successful IMC viral campaigns on the YouTube, which has many viewers. Consumers watch the videos and respond positively, communicating their love of the brand through social media and responding to NBB in real-time.
Such strategy focuses new marketing effort on advertisement on television, print media, and radio broadcasts. Its benefits different people and exposes the organization to a large population of prospective customers.
Grass roots efforts have made NBB to succeed. Members of the Ranger team are able to establish a close relationship with local businesses and clients in new areas. Just as NBB, FreeWire can sponsor events in the new expanded regions. The benefit of such a strategy is that the overseer team is experienced as brand agents and is efficient at social marketing (Mullins & Larreche, 2006).
NBB acknowledges their stakeholders, which reaches from their corporate environment- the customers they serve. They involve in every aspect of their lives, which include product innovation, donation of funds to stewardship, grants programs, charitable foundation, water conservation, and youth environmental education. Employees enjoy benefits, such as health and dental services, catered lunches, free massages, and earning stock in the privately held corporation (Mullins & Larreche, 2006).
NBB is involved with experimentation into new Craft Beer flavors. As new consumers are introduced to the brand, NBB sees the potential of creating several new flavors that complement the new consumer brackets taste palette. Previously, the company collaborated with Elysian Brewing Company to introduce and test new brew flavors that could entice consumers. Different programs enabled NBB to create new beer flavors that have now become an intricate part of its brand portfolio.
The benefit of this strategy is that the clients of the distributers foster socially and environmentally responsible businesses. FreeWire can implement this option to enhance its marketing strategies since many consumers support organizations that highlight their sustainable practices. Such strategy takes less time to network and create appropriate relationships. Additionally, once relations are created, they can be easily maintained to assist in continuing a distribution network of product to a loyal customer base.
Such strategy makes it possible to reach a younger audience that resonates with its ideas. It expands on using media, for example, social networking sites as the ideal advertising channel. The strategy provides a mode of expanding brand awareness with ability to reach millions. Additionally, the implementation costs are also low due to the in-house social media expertise already available. Using social media and their interactive website, FreeWire can regulate the message of its core values
This strategy is quick to implement and takes shorter time because FreeWire interacts well on the grass roots level and its staff is dedicated to do it effectively. Additionally, FreeWire will be able to expand its loyal customer base through investing in individuals, companies, and communities.
The present study analyzed the seven marketing strategies of FreeWire Technologies in details and discussed New Belgium Breweries marketing strategies that FreeWire can employ to improve its marketing. Marketing strategies for FreeWire technologies contribute to its performance; therefore, every possible facility is being delivered to the market. The present research used both descriptive and exploratory methods. The findings indicate that FreeWire Technologies Company needs to concentrate on promotional activities, financial schemes, personal services, on time delivery of products and services, and social responsibility to acquire the market of Hawaii.
Obtaining ideas from different industries is an effective way of establishing a probable source of radical innovation. It is because pooling insights from different areas when working on an issue enables an organization to obtain greater novelty in the suggested solution. Moreover, organizations versed in different fields can benefit from varied sources of knowledge, and they are not conceptually limited to existing or known solutions to the problem in the target field (Xu & Quaddus, 2013).
Organizations can employ ideas from different industries to primarily shift the cost of doing business procedures and reduce the costs of customers or suppliers, for instance, utilizing online business to customer and business-to-business model, e-procurement systems to minimize operating costs.
Ideas from different industries are helpful in developing differentiated features and minimizing competitors’ differentiation advantages, such as utilizing online live chatting systems and social networks to clearly comprehend and attend to clients. Technological ideas help in using technology to develop informediaries of providing value-added service and enhancing clients’ adhesiveness to an organization’s website. Various organizational ideas are vital in application of superior and industrialized measures for online operations to offline practices, for example, more precise and systematic techniques of assessing the efficacy and effectiveness of advertising.
Companies can use such ideas to recognize and develop new products and services to establish niche markets and radically alter business procedures through automation, for example, utilizing digital modelling and simulation of product design to minimize the time and cost to the market. They also help in working on new plans of creating pure online business/ operations. Furthermore, organizations can employ new ideas to expand domestic and international operations as well as diversify and incorporate into other products and services, for instance, establishing global intranet and global operation platform and creating Omni channel tactic to enhance growth (Xu & Quaddus, 2013).
Lastly, organizations can use ideas from different industries to develop and improve relations with partners through applications like creating virtual organizations and inter-organizations information systems.
- Marketing is not about offering products or services; it is largely about offering changing benefits to the changing needs and demands of the customers.
- Marketing does not only involve attracting customers but also retaining them by winning their loyalty. It is conducted long after the customer has purchased the product and its goal is to establish long-term mutually satisfying relationship with the customer.
- Marketing is an activity, group of institutions, and procedures for developing, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, partners, and society. Additionally, Marketing is a vital element in all stages of product life cycles, and to attain success in a hard market situation with stiff competition, each marketer is trying to offer as much facilities as possible
“FreeWire Technologies, Energy Excelerator, and Hawaiian Electric Bring Mobile Electric Vehicle Charging to Hawaii.” (2016). NEWS RELEASE. Retrieved from: http://energyexcelerator.com/2016/11/freewire-technologies-energy-excelerator-and-hawaiian-electric-bring-mobile-electric-vehicle-charging-to-hawaii/
“FreeWire Technologies Uses Eurotech IoT Gateway and Everyware Cloud Platform for Smart Energy Charging Systems”. (2016). EUROTECH. Retrieved from: file:///C:/Users/edu/Desktop/free%203.pdf
“FreeWire Technologies”. (2006). Costs and Demand Charges of DC Fast Charging. Retrieved from: https://www.freewiretech.com/news/2016/9/14/costs-and-demand-charges-of-dc-fast-charging
McKenzie, K., Block, D., & Center, F. S. E. (2016). The State of Electric Vehicles in Hawaii: 2016 Update. Retrieved from:
Mullins, W., & Larreche, B. (2006). Marketing Strategy: A Decision-Focused Approach. McGraw-Hill: NewYork, NY.
Xu, J., & Quaddus, M. (2013). Managing information systems: Ten essential topics. Springer Science & Business Media.
Appendix 1: Price Analysis
Number of EV Project DC Fast Charger sites by installation cost, indicated in thousands of dollars (FreeWire Technologies, 2006).
Appendix 2: Product Analysis
Figure 2. Mobi Chargers can move to the vehicle so EVs in any spot can access charging (FreeWire Technologies, 2006).
Appendix 3: Place Analysis
Figure 3 Mobi Charger Car Charging (FreeWire Technologies, 2006).