As I noted in our last Solar Marketing Think Tank post, we here at Kiterocket strongly believe that solar’s brand has yet to be truly defined for the public—or the industry.

What does someone think of when they think of solar? PV? Clean energy? Solar hot water? CSP? CPV? Portable solar chargers? A waste of taxpayer dollars?

Obviously, solar means different things to different people, but how do we capture all of the positive meaning into one solar energy brand? To move toward that definition, we decided to go outside the door of our San Francisco office and ask nonsolar industry people some very unscientific questions about their immediate thoughts about solar.

Yes, we know that these random questions and answers aren’t the kind of scientific market research that we’d normally do for clients, but we were curious. So we put a camera inside our office door and invited anyone who passed by to come inside and answer some brief questions about solar.

Surprisingly, 37 San Francisco business district pedestrians actually stopped. We didn’t pay them a dime, but once again, that really doesn’t matter. We know this spontaneous street survey isn’t scientific. And yet … I must tell you that we received some very interesting answers.

We’ll reveal more of those answers in a future post. For now, we just wanted to share this one question and answer. Hands down, this guy gave us our favorite response, the one that we all thought was the most original in its succinctness and passion. Take a look:

Now, dear solar industry reader, it’s your turn to be part of our very informal solar brand survey. In the comments section below, please answer the same question as our creative San Francisco dude above:

  • Fill in the blank: Solar energy is _________.
  • After you fill in the blank with whatever comes into your head, tell us briefly why you said that.

Demographically, we’re going to assume that most readers here are somehow related to the solar industry, but please just confirm that in your comment.

In a future Think Tank edition, we’ll sum up your solar industry answers, and compare those to the random people we met outside our Sansome St. offices in San Francisco.

Thanks in advance for contributing your thoughts!

Tor “Solar Fred” Valenza is the chief marketing officer of Kiterocket’s Solar Lab. Follow him on Twitter at @SolarFred and @ImpressTweets.