It has 124 years old, a lot of not sexy things, it´s called General Electric and it´s one of the best in the world in online communication.

When we think about inspiring brands we think in sports or fashion brands. Brands that communicate something much bigger than a product.

 General Electric doesn't fit in any of these categories and it´s one of the best case-studies on how to brilliantly communicate online.

Nike doesn't communicate shoes, making shoes is just a detail of it´s existence. Nike is Jordan and the ability to exceed ourselves. Dove is a statement of self-assertion and femininity. Coca-cola it´s de unity between nations. All of them ground their communication on emotions, on people, on what bonds us as humans.

That is why it´s strange that a ginormous cluster of companies, engines and turbines makers, among many other things, is one of the most exciting brands to follow on social media. The title for this post was to be “GE: The Most Exciting Boring Brand On Social Media”, but it was already taken…

I´m a General Electric (GE) follower, which proves the universality of their communication. I don't understand a thing about cars, i don't know the difference between a Boeing or an Airbus (and i don't even get all the fascination of all men i travel with about the subject). My top engineering skills resume to set up an IKEA secretary. So, a brand that communicates engines and pelton turbines doesn't (usually) deserve a lot of my attention.


1. They realized the essence of their raison d´être and what makes them Universal.

Although General Electric is a giant that operates in the various markets worldwide it is, in its genesis, and inventors company - Thomas Edison was one of the founders.

And all of us admire inventors, on their curiosity over things, on their “eureka!” moment, on their capability to improve and transform the world we live in. General Electric´s communication manages to undress that heavily load of big company and have the soul and imagination of a garage inventor.

Here is one of the last campaigns where a child express her vision on her mother´s work at General Electric.



2. They talk with their followers

In multi-channels (FB, Tumblr, Vine, etc.), quickly, creatively and always in harmony with their essence.

Check out this example where a follower says he would like to come up with a diving suit for a horse to, one day, come out of the sea on a horseback.


General Electric on Twitter


In the very same day, GE designers, sent him a sketch of the idea.




3. Publish relevant, funny and unique (they aren't afraid to take a risk!) content.

Many brands take advantage on newsworthy happenings to communicate with their followers (Brexit, cute kitty or the national team matches). GE, using different tones, according to the social platform their using, publishes surprising, relevant and funny content.

To celebrate the 45th anniversary on Neil Armsstorngs first step on the moon and of the boots he was wearing, produced with GE silicone rubber, the brand released a limited edition of it on Snapchat.

The fact that they used Snapchat it´s also paradigmatic. Snapchat is a social platform mainly used by youngsters and teenagers (50% of the users are under 24) and it´s very unusual to see such institutional brands to do it. GE knew how to understood the environment and adapt the message to it. Get GE to be cool for a teenager is only achievable by an extraordinary digital communication strategy.


The way GE uses Pinterest is brilliant.


(in conclusion)


Nobody likes flabby brands!

Most of the time the size of a brand or the diversity of it´s areas of activity are obstacles for the communication, it enters the “social and politically correct” and the brand is transformed into a shapeless, amorphous and flappy mass (i feet like exaggerating). By being afraid of communicating just a portion and not the whole, big brands tend to forget that there are countless platforms and different audiences where it´s possible to adapt the tone to the context and to who´s listening on the other side.

Most Portuguese big brands have a boring and formatted - they repeat contents from platform to platform, duplicate tv ads or pictures from the events they do. GE shows that it´s possible to do different, to be different, everyday, from the most inventive and brilliant ways.


Para quem quiser ler um pouco mais:

Posted by Tiago Castro