GE (Brand) / Imagination (Agency)

Please tell us about your company’s customer experience, and help us understand what makes your story noteworthy or exceptional.: 
Ecomagination is a sub-brand of multinational conglomerate, General Electric. Focussed on R&D and innovation, Ecomagination seeks to develop products and solutions that reduce environmental impact. 
Based in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi – a carbon neutral ‘future city’ designed by Foster and Partners – the ecomagination centre was designed to build understanding around the critical energy and resource issues facing the region, and the range of GE innovations tackling them.
Main objectives:
  • Bring to life GE’s strategic vision “solving the region’s toughest energy and resource challenges’.
  • Foster open discussion about current consumption trends and the future of energy and water in the MENA region.
  • Present the GE (via ecomagination) relevant, proven solution to the region’s future energy, resource and infrastructure needs.
  • Highlight the interconnectedness of everything GE do through a holistic story that makes justice to it in a real world scenario.
  • Provide an environment where visitors can get involved hands on with the problems GE are trying to solve and their solutions.
Experiential solution: 
The environment is the most enduring and significant narrative of our time, and the task of balancing growth and leaving a better planet for future generations perhaps the most important imperative for governments, businesses and communities.
Rather than simply play lip service to this story, or use it as a vehicle for displaying and trying to sell products, we sought to embrace the idea of brand as storyteller we approached the project narrative first, using a literary ‘narrative arc’ as the foundation of our visitor journey.
Once established, this narrative allowed us to build a more detailed content plan around each story element. This led to a journey that, defined by ‘pinch points’ in the spatial design, created a series of single-minded, inviting and immersive spaces – much like chapters in a book.
An Islamic mashrabiya influenced wall and ceiling wrap made use of the angular external walls, whilst also creating the desired feeling of zonal singularity. A mix of warmer sustainable woods and lighting created dramatic internal vista’s. With this use of colour, materials and content builds upon this feeling of chapters of a story.
Starting with the global and local environmental context, and leading visitors through a deep-dive on the impact and innovation potential in areas such as lighting, transportation, energy and water.
  • Interactive: Using a combination of print, touch-based interactive pieces and digital installations we were able to establish global and regional context, before deep-diving into focus areas such as lighting, transportation, energy use and personal consumption in fresh, interesting and entertaining ways.

    Focussing on the environmental trends that will shape our collective futures, the centre features 10 custom digital interactive stations – using a range of technologies from motion sensing to physical / digital integrated elements – and wall graphics to tell its story.

  • Immersive: The GE ecomaginaiton story is made real through Madinati – a  city of 5 million people, brought to life through a jaw dropping 16sqm interactive table that combines physical buildings, with the underlying ‘behaviour’ of the city shown through digital animations under the perspex model city and brought to life for users by interactive screens, projection and voice-over.

    Designed in conjunction with urban planners, data scientists and industry specialists, Madinati blends digital and physical to create a data driven urban sandpit. In this, users can explore a range of real-life, accurate city scenarios, exploring how a range of inter-connected GE products and services can delivery real economic and environmental benefits.

    This ‘sandbox’ approach ensures the city can be used into the future for projections and modelling – making it more than a strategic asset, not just a sales tool.

By making the GE story interactive in this way, we allow the product benefits to speak for themselves. No smoke and mirrors – just the irrefutable benefit. We could also highlight the co-dependencies and the level of product integration in a focused and compelling way.
We were able to talk about some 20 products and solutions, display their deep level of integration and highlight their benefits, all within 16sqm. Unpicked, we would have needed many hundred of square metres and an almost infinite attention span from our visitors.
From a technology perspective, the experience is compelling because so much is going on simultaneously. For an audience that has been taught to expect touch screens at every turn, the ecomagination centre takes them on a journey from their comfort zone right out to a genuine wow as their touch drives not only the screen in front of them, but lights up segments of the city in front of them and drives calculations demonstrating the city-wide impact of technology changes.


Please share any qualitative, quantitative, empirical, or anecdotal evidence that demonstrates the success of your CX ecosystem in improving your company’s delivery of service.: 
The GE ecomagination center officially opened on 15 January 2014, when over 100 customers, think tanks, universities and industry and government leaders gathered for the official press reception event.
The unveiling of the GE ecomagination Center in Masdar City marked the realization of long-term partnership with The City and the determination to make the dream of becoming the world’s first carbon zero city come true.
The spatial design and digital activations not only told the GE story in the MENA region and showcased their existing innovations that result in more efficient use of energy and water, but also fostered even further discussion and innovation between leading lights and industry leaders in highly engaging, immersive and memorable ways. 
Results highlights:
  • Region-wide newspaper and editorial coverage in all major publications, including Sky News Arabia, Al Jazeera, The National Golf News and Al Aribiya News.
  • Favourable coverage from industry and personal eco-blogs.
  • Visited by members of the UAE ruling family, the US Ambassador and assorted VIPs. Most notably:
      - Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and CEO of Masdar.
      - Deb Frodl, GE’s global executive director of ecomagination.
      - Nabil Habayeb, GE’s president & CEO for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.
  • Large government and corporate contracts were gained right after the opening of this centre.
  • High visitor engagement to the centre, where each guests spends an average of over an hour per visit.
  • Now a base for training and innovation, attracting businesses and students from the UAE and beyond, establishing a lasting presence for GE in the Middle East.
  • Winner: Best Interior at the Middle East Interior Design Awards.
  • Winner: Best Touch or Gesture Based Interactive at Event Marketer’s Event Marketing Awards.

“This is truly a landmark partnership in the development of Masdar City because it will allow us to jointly develop, deploy, scale and market innovative solutions in renewable energy and sustainability.”
 “We are excited that GE will be an anchor tenant at Masdar City, as we aim to build the world’s Silicon Valley for clean technology.” – Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and CEO of Masdar
“The GE ecomagination Center in Abu Dhabi reflects the growing importance that the UAE places in promoting sustainable growth. It will encourage businesses, the community and NGOs to work together to address the sustainability challenges of our time.” – Deb Frodl, GE’s global executive director of ecomagination