National Grid Taps Abbey Mecca to Brand, Raise Awareness For New Solar Project

By September 30, 2016Branding, Case Study

Abbey Mecca is proud to have been selected by National Grid New Energy Solutions Division to work on The Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar Partnership initiative.  A collaboration between National GridBuffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Solar Liberty, and NYSERDA, the Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar Partnership was developed to introduce no-cost solar power and energy efficiency opportunities for residents in the Fruit Belt community. The Fruit Belt Neighborhood, located just outside downtown Buffalo, is compromised of a 36-block neighborhood near the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The program offers three ways Fruit Belt residents can participate.  Free installation of solar energy systems on rooftops of 100 homes will bring solar energy to low-mid income households – an underserved urban setting with a large concentration of family homes.  No-cost home energy efficiency upgrades are also available, as well as energy bill credits.  Abbey Mecca was charged with developing the branding and messaging to introduce and communicate the multiple benefits of this unique program.

Our experience with brands in the solar energy space including Solar Liberty, DynoRaxx and Allegro Power, positioned our agency well to lead development of brand strategy and position, marketing collateral design and advertising.

Branding – Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar Partnership

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Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar Partnership Logo – Horizontal

First, our creative team was tasked to develop a logo that captured the essence behind the newly formed Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar Partnership. The FBNSP logo resembles a home, with the left half of the roof featuring five solar green blocks, which symbolize solar panels – and the green, clean energy produced by solar energy.

Along with the logo, Abbey Mecca developed the tag line, “Power from the Sun. Savings for the neighborhood”  to reinforce the purpose behind the collaborative efforts of National Grid, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, NYSERDA and Solar Liberty.

Print – Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar Partnership

Door hanger (from left) front and back

Door hanger (from left) front and back

The hyper-local nature of the project necessitated the use of print collateral and direct mail as the most effective way to raise awareness about FBNSP in the community. Door hangers, postcards, and posters were designed and printed. A focused, print advertising campaign was also developed utilizing weekly newspapers that reach the Fruit Belt neighborhood.

Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar Partnership - Print Ads

Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar Partnership – Print Ads

The door hangers served two purposes – information about the Neighborhood Meeting – an event held to answer questions and share information about the Fruit Belt Neighborhood Partnership, and information how families in the community could contact National Grid. Utilizing the branding of National Grid in the door hanger proved to be successful, as families recognized National Grid as a national leader in energy, and strengthened the credibility of the program.

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Welcome Poster, Informational Handout, One-Page Takeaway pieces

Brochures and informational handouts were developed to inform residents about the Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar Partnership and included the toll-free phone number for residents to learn more.

Additional marketing took the form of lawn signs designed to indicate which homes in the Fruit Belt participate in the program.  Two types of signs were designed – each indicating the level of participation of the home – Solar Home and Energy Efficient Home.

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Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar Partnership Lawn Signs

Branded Clothing – Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar Partnership

To fully integrate the FBNSP and National Grid brands, Abbey Mecca developed branded clothing that would serve as identification for National Grid personnel working in the Fruit Belt Neighborhood.

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To maintain brand consistency, the Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar Partnership and National Grid logos were placed on solar green short-sleeve polos, navy blue long-sleeve polos, and navy blue quarter-zip fleeces.  The branded wearables were designed by Abbey Mecca and produced through our sibling company Printec.

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Video – Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar Partnership

Working with ECast Productions, our digital video production team provided field production and conducted a series of interview with representatives from Solar Liberty, National Grid and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus for a promotional video being produced for the FBNSP. In addition to interviews, we captured aerial footage of solar arrays installed on homes in the Fruit Belt Neighborhood using our drone. This project presented a unique opportunity bringing together and showcasing two agency clients – Solar Liberty and National Grid.


Launched in May of 2016, the program has completed the first solar installation and has interest from more than 40 homes owners in the Fruit Belt.  Local news media including The Buffalo News and WIVB-TV have also reported on the project.

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