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UnThink Solar
a div of Impress Labs
811 Sansome St
San Francisco, CA 94111
United States

No. of Employees: 33
Phone: 415-395-0941
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Solar Battle of the Bands at Intersolar NA: Much More Than Good PR


What do SolarCity, Sungevity, Session Solar, SunPower, Zep Solar and Quick Mount PV all have in common?  They were all band gladiators in “Solar Battle of the Bands” at Interolsar — and they all added to their solar brand mojo too.

In case you missed it, there was a musical solar rumble at a San Francisco club outside of Intersolar’s Moscone convention center on Wednesday 7/13. It was the first such competition, but my sincere hope is that there will be many more battles like this to come.

Employees from the above solar companies put down their tool belts, spreadsheets, and solar pathfinders and picked up their voices, trumpets, and guitars for a very friendly battle of rock ‘n’ roll and soul standards — as well as some original music by Quickmount PV’s Wave Aarray, who “racked” the house with their original tunes.

In addition to the musical contributions, the event was sponsored with a free flowing open bar, courtesy of Antenna Group, CreoTecc, Kaco New Energy, Session Solar, Trina Solar, and Quick Mount PV.

But let me assure you that more than just music and alcohol flowed through the audience there. Many of these companies are direct competitors, but there really was a genuine solar community feeling on stage and off.

Beside a new idea for a solar themed party, is there a marketing and PR lesson here? Of course the companies will receive publicity, but I think there’s more to it than that.

Individual solar products speak for themselves, but we must always remember that there are people behind every panel, rack, and inverter. This event is a reminder of that.

Nights like these give solar companies an opportunity to show the faces of solar, as well as celebrate the creativity behind the solar workforce. I’m sure it’s also an internal company morale booster, recognizing employees for their passion for life, music, fun --and solar too.

Consequently, in addition the B to B public relations and branding potentia here, I also encourage solar companies to do more events like this to support their employees' passions outside of solar…for solar.

Are there artists in your cubicles and warehouses? Sport enthusiasts? How can you turn your solar product or service into an employee created art project or an event that inspires both your company and the public? Ask around the office. You might be surprised by how many great, fun, PR ideas are generated.

As it turned out, there was a vote by those attending the first Solar Band Battle, and the winner was SolarCity’s “The SoulMetrics.” Personally, I want to thank all of the bands for a great evening and to all of the solar companies that contributed and supported this wonderful idea.

Here’s a link to many more photos, courtesy of Session Solar.

Finally, I also want mention that Session Solar’s Christie McCarthy & Jam Session opened the party with the premier of the music video “Rise and Shine,”  an original song. (Like the sound? Share it! It’s available free for download.)

Thanks, and as always, UnThink Solar.

Tor Valenza a.k.a. “Solar Fred” advises solar companies on marketing, communications, and public relations. Contact him through UnThink Solar or follow him on Twitter @SolarFred.

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