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The GE Model for Brand Storytelling

David Aaker

The science and technology company can teach marketers a thing (or nine) about brand storytelling

GE is among many companies that are dialing up the use of brand storytelling or what I call “signature stories,” stories that communicate core strategic information about the firm and its strategy. Linda Boff the director of global marketing at GE explained how stories helped GE communicate its strategic message during a talk at the June 2016 ANA conference on Masters of B-to-B Marketing.

It all starts with GE’s DNA, which always has been passionate about science and technology, starting with founder Thomas Edison. The GE goal is to be associated with this DNA as reflected by imagination, creativity and always being in motion. The firm is comfortable with geeking-out with people who find science and technology interesting. In fact, a key audience is people who are also into science and technology—those who will relate to GE’s passion and strategy.

What is novel about GE for the past few years is the emphasis placed on stories, authentic narratives that surprise, intrigue and involve the audience while also being informative or entertaining. Several aspects of GE’s approach are worth highlighting:

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David Aaker is vice chairman of Prophet, the author of Aaker on Branding and a member of the Marketing Hall of Fame.