GE brings its customizable Café appliances to Canada

GE has brought its customizable appliance line, Café, to Canada. The product line, which debuted last year in the U.S., allows people to customize the appearance of major appliances to their personal taste.

The Café line was developed to address growing consumer interest in customization, no matter what they are purchasing, said Bob Park, chief of brands for GE Appliances Canada. The Café line can “inspire passion” by giving people a chance to personalize their appliances to match their own style, he said.

The mass premium line includes refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, cooktops, ranges and ventilation units. Consumers can choose their own knobs and handles from a choice of brushed bronze, brushed stainless, brushed copper and brushed black. The line comes in unique matte black and matte white finishes—“disrupting the appliance industry’s ‘sea of stainless’,” according to a release—that have a premium look and feel, said Park.

Marketing for the product line is focused on digital advertising and PR. Beginning March 26, Café appliances will be used during cooking segments on the Marilyn Denis Show, and next month they will be featured in the reality cooking show Top Chef Canada. Antoni Porowski from Queer Eye was in Toronto Monday for a launch event.

Park says that GE plans to mostly avoid mass advertising for the Café line. “We want to position it as something a little more special,” he said. “We feel it is more of a product that will build on word of mouth and the coolness factor.”

It will use targeted digital advertising, however, with a focus on personal style and how customization allows people to have appliances that fit their lifestyle. “It’s time appliances had a personality. Yours” reads one of the headlines on the Café website.

“The messaging is entirely different,” said Park. “It is not going to be ads with a fridge, or advertising with a feature of a fridge.” This will be lifestyle advertising with the appliance playing a supporting role, he said.

On social, Park wants Café to be part of the conversation around home renovation, with both paid and organic posts and some influencer marketing. “We select all of our influencers for all of our brands very carefully.”

Craft is handling the PR for the Café line, while No Fixed Address is handling digital advertising.

David Brown