Built to last.

409057-ikea-couplePrevious posts have hinted at the many successes of IKEA as a brand, and with the exception of a few hiccups, they have become a leader in the home furnishing business. The brand is currently 71 years old, and has made an iconic name for itself. But there are many brands that have aged further than IKEA.

What does IKEA need to do to mirror the success of these brands?

  1. Set goals: Yes, IKEA is very successful, but that does not mean the job is finished. Setting goals will help them grow as a company and allow their staff to be challenged in positive ways. This will strengthen them so that they can take educated risks in the future.
  2. Don’t forget about the customer: Customers are the reason for a successful business. If they are happy, then the business is happy. It’s important to know that customer relations are not one size fits all because the customers want to feel that the business appreciates their individual business.
  3. Embrace technology: I’ve previously discussed the success of IKEA’s print catalog and because of that success I am in no way suggesting that they should abandon it and go completely digital. I am, however, suggesting that IKEA incorporate more technology for handheld devices so that all customers can have access to product information in their hand. Perhaps, an IKEA catalog app would be appropriate?
  4. Make an emotional connection: Who typically buys IKEA furniture? College students, young adults trying to get on their feet and young couples. Those times are where fun and impressionable memories are made. These memories will be carried with them, so it’s important that IKEA use those memories and remind them of the furniture that

IKEA is known for making furniture and they always will be.



A meatball of a different color.


IKEA—like any other large corporation—is no stranger to crisis and bad publicity. Most recently, the company was under scrutiny for using horsemeat in its famous meatballs that are sold in stores. In addition to that, IKEA has come under fire for its founder allegedly having ties to a Swedish Nazi recruiting party, removing women from a Saudi version of its catalog, chocolate cake containing traces of fecal matter, connections to Fidel Castro, making furniture in forced labor camps, and using a lot of wood (it’s the 3rd largest consumer of wood in the world). Luckily these crises did not happen all at once and they were able to handle them so that the general public forgot about them. Case in point: I bet you didn’t even know about some of those scandals besides the horsemeat. But—since that crisis is the one the public is most familiar with—let’s talk about that one.

IKEA’s troubles with horsemeat stems from a larger scandal in Europe where multiple corporations came under fire for the use of horsemeat since being discovered Ireland. The news about IKEA’s violation, reported by Czech authorities, spread quickly and IKEA acted equally as quick to stop serving those meatballs and wieners in their stores. They announced that they were concerned that the contaminated meatballs came from one supplier in Sweden and had affected all European countries except Norway and Russia. They also included that the U.S. was not affected by the contamination.

Although IKEA acted quickly and honestly, the brand’s image took a serious hit. The YouGov BrandIndex, a company reputation tracker, reported that IKEA’s “buzz score” dropped from 14 to 4 after this controversy. While this controversy did not disable the brand, their audience had a negative view of the company for quite some time.





So little time, so many feeds.

Typically, companies have one account per social media platform that address the company as a whole. IKEA, however, has multiple. Since IKEA is such a global company, having one account responsible for engaging customers of many cultures is just an accident waiting to happen—especially since we live in a time where political correctness is constantly a top priority.

IKEA has a separate Facebook page for each of its markets that it operates in. The most successful are the USA, UK and Australia pages. The IKEA USA page currently has 4,247,085 likes. The majority of the pages push content and updates and receive a decent amount of engagement in return. They also respond to customer questions and complaints on the page.

IKEA follows the same structure for its Twitter accounts. IKEA USA currently has 331,000 followers and is noted for its commitment to responding to its mentions. IKEA does not run a separate feed for customer service like many other companies which means the mentions are a combination of questions and complaints as well as references to the company in positive, promotional way.

Pinterest is not used throughout all of their markets like Twitter and Facebook. The only IKEA markets currently using Pinterest are the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. The pages have 14,000, 9,000 and 3,000 followers respectively.

IKEA USA’s Google+ page is not all that successful in comparison to their other platforms, but it’s by no means a failure. Its greatest feature is its promotion of YouTube video which drives customers to their YouTube channel where there is an abundance of informational videos like this one:

If you are interested in IKEA’s Instagram account, please refer to my previous post Print’s not dead.



Print’s not dead.

ikea instagram
IKEA’s brand is recognizable by millions of people across the globe. After all, anyone who has ever Googled the word furniture can see IKEA’s overwhelming presence. The brand is worth $11.5 billion and is ranked 41st on Forbe’s World’s Most Valuable Brands list. The brand has changed significantly since inception mainly due to the fact that their products have changed significantly since inception. The company originally sold items such as pens, wallets, watches, jewelry and even nylon stockings. However, over the past 20 years or so, IKEA has been consistent in marketing their furniture in a modern and simple light to both younger adults as well as families. Much like all companies that are successful in this generation, IKEA has taken to social media to expand the reach of its brand.

The IKEA USA social media stats are as follows as of September 16, 2014:
Facebook Likes: 4.2 million
Twitter Followers: 291,026
Instagram Followers: 81,541
Pinterest Followers: 147,124

Imagery plays a huge role for IKEA both in print and on social media. IKEA prints around 200 million copies of its catalog every year in various languages for countries across world. An interesting statistic is that that number is double the amount of Bibles produced in a year! Their Instagram account shows their imagery on a digital platform by displaying various products and rooms designed with those products. One of the most interesting campaigns that IKEA has released promoted their trademark catalog by making fun of the tech companies and the way they talk about their new technology.

You can view the promo here:


Some assembly required.


IKEA is a Swedish company that designs and sells furniture, which the consumer must assemble. Ingvar Kamprad founded the company in Sweden at the young age of 17. The company grew throughout the following decades with the addition of new stores in several countries, arriving in the United States in 1985 in Philadelphia.

The IKEA brand is worthy of study because of its success as a paramount furniture retailer—and they have the numbers to back it up. By the end of the 2013 business year, IKEA had 345 stores open and operating in 42 countries yielding 775 million store visits. As in any business, money talks and IKEA has plenty of room to talk after ending the 2013 business year with $29.2 billion in sales turnover. IKEA could also furnish an army with its 151, 000 co-workers, the majority of them working the company’s 9.9 million square meters of retail space. The company is not suffering in cyberspace either. They garnered 1.2 billion website visits this past year. With numbers this impressive, IKEA must be doing something right.

The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. They support this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishings at prices so low, as many people as possible will be able to afford them. Not only does IKEA want to create a better everyday life for the many people, they want to create better everyday life for the world. They have created the “People & Planet Positive” to help provide sustainability on the manufacturing end as well as the consumer end.

Visual: http://www.retailsolutionsonline.com/doc/ikea-melds-digital-catalogs-instagram-for-unique-social-merchandising-strategy-0001