new GE paper - Today General Electric is a highly...

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Today, General Electric is a highly fragmented corporation offering an array of goods and services to the public worldwide. With the invention of his incandescent lamp in 1879, Thomas Edison became not only a technological revolutionary but also the founder of the Edison General Electric Company. Since its founding, this remarkable organization has created crucial products and services that have helped solve some of the world’s toughest problems. GE has offered these products and services through various campaigns throughout GE’s existence. The two GE campaigns studied include, “We Bring Good Things to Life” and “Imagination at Work.” “We Bring Good Things to Life” ran for twenty years and began in 1978 and lasted until 2002. With increasing pressures from different markets, GE completely restructured their long running slogan. In January 2003, GE initiated their “Imagination at Work” campaign and it is still running advertisements to this current day. More specifically, “Ecomagination” began running under the umbrella of “Imagination at Work” in May of 2005. “Ecomagination” was created “to address challenges such as the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy, reduced emissions and abundant sources of clean water. 1 Because GE is such a divided company in terms of specialties, each campaign shows a completely different creation from the organization. “We Bring Good Things to Life” focuses much more on the products that GE offers. The examples provided include advertisements for refrigerators, microwave ovens, and dishwashers. Each advertisement provides examples as to why GE’s product is unique. While GE’s large size is an indication of their success, this aspect of the company also hinders its ability to be the best in most markets. Ries summarizes GE’s obstacles as a product based business when 1 Callahan, Sean. “B-to-b marketers go green.” B to B 91.7 (2006): 1-2.
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he states “specialists in individual categories are always more valuable than the GE brand” 2 . Roth continues with “if you are the big gorilla in the jungle, it’s a challenge to stay ahead of smaller, more nimble organizations” 3 . As a result of this dilemma, GE began a major rebranding campaign in 2003. While “We Bring Good Things to Life” sells GE’s merchandise, “Imagination at Work,” and more importantly, “Ecomagination,” represents GE’s many original services. Any one can buy a refrigerator or microwave oven from competitors such as Maytag and Whirlpool, but can those brands create cleaner air and water with their products, or build ecologically friendly trains and jet engines? The advertisements chosen to embody “Ecomagination” include print ads representing GE’s ability to produce cleaner water and electricity and two television ads also showing GE’s original and environmental services.
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