Responsibility, Relationships and Recognition: The Three New R’s of Millennial Expectations of Future Utility Customer Experience

Washington, DC … DEFG, a management consulting firm specializing in consumers and consumer-facing offerings in the utility sector (www.defgllc.com) announced today the winners of the student competition at the Gallatin School of New York University to develop and present the “Millennial Vision of the Future Utility.” The student concepts and strategies for the utility of the future point to the different customer service requirements of young Americans on a going forward basis, including a deeper emotional relationship to what has traditionally been viewed as simply a utility bill.

This demographic [Millennials] also craves customer interactions that are socially and experientially gratifying. Aaron Dean Gartenberg

“Keeping the lights on while keeping costs down is important to young consumers,” stated Aaron Dean Gartenberg, a student leader of the winning team. “This demographic also craves customer interactions that are socially and experientially gratifying. With the help of DEFG we catered to these needs by redesigning the consumer-facing elements of an energy utility.”

Jamie Wimberly, CEO of DEFG LLC, and Peter Rajsingh, a Partner at Castellar Partners and a NYU professor, organized and led the competition. Five student teams competed in the final round to craft a strategic plan, brand positioning and launch a campaign for the millennial utility of the future. The four runner-up teams and concepts were:

  • SunCloud—A solar energy company focused on Millennials, and based on a co-op model
  • (U)tility—A kinetic energy company that combines working out (e.g., riding a stationary bicycle), with the generation of energy
  • Campfire Energy—A company focused on the construction of new buildings that promote community and energy engagement
  • Concierge Energy—A company providing personalized energy assistance

The winning team was Greenleaf, the “world’s first (you)tility.” Greenleaf’s business concept combined customer control, sustainability and status through a membership-based approach to monitoring, payment and incentives. They then presented a unique and fun marketing strategy to launch the company.

The members of the winning Greenleaf team are:

  • Aaron Dean Gartenberg
  • Ben Paster
  • Coco Huemer
  • Jason Gabaee
  • Juan Diego Galvez
  • Tamara Wescott

“Greenleaf is an example of a fun, digital-first (face of an) energy utility that speaks to the millennial consumer, in their voice and on their medium. In doing so, we counteract the lack of loyalty in a commoditized industry,” added Ben Paster, another student of the winning team.

For a free copy of the presentation deck of “The Millennial Vision of the Future Utility,” download the report here.