GE Appliances holds 14 percent of the U.S. home appliance market - that’s not by accident. Not only has the GE name been around since 1894, the GE Appliances branch has made a name for itself by being on the cutting edge of trends.
When Americans went nuts over mid-century modern design, GE Appliances offered a retro line, the GE Artistry™ Series. As Millennials are demanding WiFi connected dishwashers and refrigerators that send a text when the water filter has expired, well, they’re on top of that too.
It doesn’t seem like a company that needs to be dragged into the 21st century, but that’s what new buyer Haier wants.
“Haier-owned GE Appliances has issued an RFP for an agency to support creative services across its portfolio of brands and to help reposition and expand Haier in North America.” - AdAge
Job #1 for the new agency is to “promote the Haier brand in North America with a campaign in August that provides a “unique position and story that will help grow share in the mass market segment” - in preparation for a “full-scale launch in 2019.” They also want to re-introduce the restaurant-inspired GE Cafe line of products, positioning it as a standalone brand (no GE mark).
The interesting thing about Haier is its commitment to localization - to the extent of owning factories in North America and the European Union. No need for “Made in China” labels here.
Haier was also an early promoter of the “Internet of Things” - where appliances and electronics are linked to the internet, like printers that automatically order more ink when they run low (or refrigerators that can order more milk). Future refrigerators might have touch screens on the doors that link to grocery stores (it’s already happening in China!).
As of now though, the GE Appliances consumer isn’t ready for those kinds of innovations. The current demographic is female, between the ages of 55-69, most of whom live in the South. That’s right: Paula Deen.
For GE Appliances to continue its tech-forward trajectory, they’ll need to court a new audience:
The Millennial Kitchen Remodelers
We looked at the segment of Millennial consumers who have expressed the intention to remodel their kitchens within the next year: The Millennial Kitchen Remodelers. But it’s not as simple as lumping them into an age bracket - we found significant differences based on marital status.
Single Millennial Remodelers tend to be male with incomes less than $70K, who are sports and outdoors enthusiasts, and gamers. They’re totally ready for touch-screen refrigerators, even though they don’t cook as often as they eat out. Still, they like the looks of Restoration Hardware and are willing to invest in Chemex Coffeemakers.
Married Millennial Remodelers tend to be female with household incomes of more than $70K, who want quality and will do the online research to get it. These women love being creative in the kitchen and cooking whole foods (possibly because they’re 1.7x more likely to be on diets). The kitchen isn’t just the hub of family life, it’s a creative outlet.
A whopping 66 percent of all Millennial Remodelers are also planning bathroom remodels, and are 1.4x likely to use mobile apps.
In short, Millennial Kitchen Remodelers are tech-ready and can’t wait to update their homes with the latest gadgets - an ideal market to get to know, if you’re planning to pitch Haier.
For more details on Millennial Kitchen Remodelers and the GE Appliances brand, check out our latest Pitch Brief!