The term bankability is thrown around a lot in solar these days, and I expect to hear it even more on the floor of Solar Power International next month. It has become a mantra for many PV companies—large and small—not only to describe technologies and projects, but even for the businesses themselves.
In addition to distancing themselves from high-risk/highly publicized failures (I won’t say the name, but hint: rhymes with Melinda), bankability has become as important as a UL certification in terms of getting on the short lists for solar projects. With Tigo Energy getting some good ink this month around the positive bankability report from BEW Engineering, I think we’ll see more companies increasingly finding ways to promote these validations.
And I think that’s the right move. I know for the communications programs I lead for my solar clients, finding ways to smartly to inject the fact that they are bankable into communications is a part of the strategy. However, there’s a danger that what is already becoming a buzz word might been diluted further. To help avoid this, here are three quick reminders on how best to integrate your “bankability” into your PR programs.
1. Educate: You’ve got to do more than say your bankable--provide the details into what this means for your company. Tigo did a great job outlining the bank, the product and even the features, leaving little room for questions. ABB also did a great whitepaper on the topic: “Six Stages of Bankability”
2. Demonstrate: Last month Borrego Solar (a Schwartz MSL client) announced that U.S. Bancorp (USB) and National Consumer Cooperative Bank created a $64.4 million fund to finance eight of Borrego’s PV installations, totaling 18 MW. Having these projects in the bag through the fund brings more than just great tax benefits, but enormous brand equity.
3. Repeat: As with anything in marketing, repetition is a key to success. The more you align with banks, partners and projects the more you’re able to mitigate risk and open the door for future opportunities.
Posted by Erin DelLlano on August 23, 2012 at 6:16 PM