General Electric (GE) creative chief Andrew Goldberg addressed an audience in New York this week to explain how shifting popular perception of the company was fundamental to its future; one where it eyes itself as a digital behemoth that is equal to, if not more important than the likes of Amazon and Google when it comes to our digital lives.
For a company whose history spans three centuries, and boasts some of the most edificial names in scientific history among its co-founders in Thomas Edison, GE is one of the few companies that can genuinely lay claim to having helped build the US.
However, it’s a company that is more commonly associated with the invention of the light bulb, plus the production of aircraft engines and oil refinery, not those that define the cutting edge of 21st century tech development, and that’s a perception that Andrew Goldberg, GE’s chief creative officer, is trying to change. With the company’s capitalization stretching to the hundreds of billions, GE’s GDP is larger than that of many of the world’s richest nations and with over 300,000 employees, actually equates to the 13th largest software company in the world, according to Goldberg.
Speaking yesterday (March 1) at the C3 conference hosted by Conductor, Goldberg told attendees while the company was at its heart a B2B brand – a fact that would normally reduce the emphasis to marketing to the wider public – the fact the company was in the midst of transitioning to become a digital- and software-led entity led to a change in GE’s thinking.