How IKEA discovered an enduring brand purpose

We recently launched The Most Connected Brands Index to help businesses and brands understand how they are connecting with consumers and provide them with ways to improve. Jo Davies, Managing Director at VIM Group, helped contribute to the report:

Today IKEA are one of the world’s most consumer-centric brands, but this hasn’t come without hurdles and as they have said themselves, their best ideas have come as a result of challenges. For example, after the recession they conducted surveys that revealed they meant too little to consumers and that they were perceived as mostly a source for durability and storage – so it was obvious they needed to do something different.

One example of how they changed was their Wonderful Everyday campaign – the aim of which was to appeal emotionally to their customers by demonstrating their role in their homes. This gave IKEA a new and enduring brand purpose ‘To create a better everyday life for the many people’.

With a clear mission to simply improve their customer’s everyday lives, today IKEA make thousands of visits to customer homes, to establish how they can make customer lives easier. This means they can establish what customers in different markets need and make their stores more local and personalised.

They also use these insights into consumer relationships with their homes to focus their campaigns around people’s needs. Their campaigns emphasise how they have become part of their customers lives, in both big and small moments.

According to UK and Ireland Country Marketing Manager Laurent Tiersen, IKEA wants the brand to be much more than just about price. They define value as not just about offering low prices but showing how IKEA can make customers feel better and improve their lifestyles. They want to create solutions which make life easier.

One way they have achieved this is by creating a customer-segment-specific solutions based on lifestyle and location, with stores reflecting the lifestyles of the location that they serve. For example, in recent years IKEA has stepped up its strategy for accommodating small living spaces in cities, which appeals to millennials. Their recent ‘Ghosts’ advert emphasised the importance of home reflecting customer personalities, and one way people can do this in a small space is by choosing colourful fabrics.

They have also created an efficient brand asset management system, which allows all their employees to understand how the brand should be deployed on a global and local level. This is especially important as stores are tailored to locations and customer segments. Connecting everyone inside the organisation with the brand, makes connecting customers with the brand so much easier.

Perhaps this is just the beginning of IKEA’s stronger connection with their customers. Like Ingvar Kamprad (Founder of IKEA) said, “Most things still remain to be done. A glorious future!”

Jo Davies, Managing Director, VIM Group