American Ethanol Summer 2017 - Page 13

E15 Finds Its Identity Growth Energy takes the lead to create a unified brand Engine Smart. Earth Kind. For vehicles 2001 & newer Higher octane Burns cleaner What’s in a name? According to research conducted by Growth Energy, the answer is … a lot! the lead in determining how to unify the naming convention and promote this product.” Every year, Growth Energy market development representatives meet with E15 retailers. At their meeting last August, they found there were a variety of names used in marketing this product. There were also varying levels of success associated with those names. For example, here are the E15 sales from several retailers, as a percentage of their total gasoline sales, and how they vary depending on the product label: Growth Energy undertook the challenge, utilizing a branding process employed by the likes of Johnson & Johnson and General Motors. Conducting a series of workshops with stakeholders— corn growers, ethanol producers, retailers—a general direction was determined. Three months of intense consumer research followed, during which 1,000 potential names were narrowed down to a short list. These names were then tested in focus groups. • E15 – 3-4% • Unleaded 15 – 12-13% • Unleaded Plus – 33% The consensus—not surprisingly— is that consumers are very sensitive to the product name. “As a group, Growth Energy realized they needed to work together to unify E15 branding,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of market development for Growth Energy. “The retailers determined that Prime the Pump* would take And the winner is … eBlend, which stood out head and shoulders above the rest. Growth Energy has just finished field testing eBlend with Minnoco and is currently testing it at four Florida retail sites. Later this summer, * Prime the Pump is an ethanol industry initiative created to help the early retail adopters of high-level ethanol blends by awarding grants to reduce their initial investment in infrastructure. SUMMER 2017 testing continues with Kum & Go® in all of their Colorado Springs locations, where sales and consumer reaction will be tracked and assessed. After analyzing findings this fall, Growth Energy will determine a more unified promotional approach. Watch for eBlend at your local retailer. It is projected that E15 will be available at 1,100 locations by the end of 2017. New to Prime the Pump this year: RaceTrac – 600+ retail sites from TX to FL QuikTrip – 600-700 retail sites Kwik Trip – 130 retail sites 13