Branding is one of the most important and overlooked aspects of modern commerce. How a company brands itself will determine who uses its services and how successful it is. In the case of the Swedish furniture company Ikea, their brand is a strong one focused on providing quality furniture at inexpensive prices. Ikea has become synonymous with furniture due to the low prices of their products and the quality of their craftsmanship. A quick look at their website gives clues as to Ikea’s brand identity, the reasons for their success, and their possible future.
As mentioned above, Ikea is a brand of furniture, though the company has also expanded into other departments such as home decorative items and necessities such as kitchenware. Ikea’s furniture is intended to provide cheap but well-built furnishings for apartments and houses; the company’s products are higher-quality than buying used furniture from Craigslist but lower than other competing brands. This is ideal for new homeowners or apartment tenants who are lower income and don’t have the money or inclination to purchase more expensive furniture. Ikea provides a midway point for homeowners and tenants who want quality but also don’t want to break the bank. Two market segments of Ikea’s most likely customers are young professionals and childless couples, individuals who live in upscale areas and big cities but are not as established in their careers as older customers, meaning they don’t have as much money or purchasing power. These market segments would find Ikea’s products appealing due to their modern design and low cost.
A sample user persona of an Ikea customer would be a computer programmer or other young professional in his or her early to mid-twenties. This individual has just moved to a new apartment, possibly a new city, and has just taken a new job. This individual doesn’t have as much money as more experienced workers, but still wants stylish, modern furniture for his or her apartment. Ikea would be the logical choice since their products would be aesthetically appealing to him or her yet still affordable on a budget.
Ikea’s website is relatively standard as far as retailer websites go, with a flashing carousel on the front page and a mobile-friendly layout, using a blue-and-white color scheme. Ikea offers a number of services via their website, including online ordering, delivery, and furniture assembly, allowing customers to purchase Ikea products and have them set up with a minimum of fuss. I enjoy the fact that the site layout is simple, allowing me to find such things as addresses, phone numbers, and store locations in easy-to-find links. Interestingly, the site does not provide links to Twitter or other social media, implying that Ikea places a low priority on this aspect. In terms of the site’s content proper, Ikea provides detailed information on its various products, grouped by category for ease of navigation. The site also provides information on its various deals, sales and coupons, as well as special offers for members of their Ikea Family rewards program. One interesting thing I found out is that some Ikea stores have restaurants, and joining the Ikea Family program entitles its participants to free coffee.
Overall, it is clear to see why Ikea has become such a successful brand in the world of furniture and home décor. Ikea goes above and beyond its competitors in providing a pleasant, inexpensive shopping experience oriented around its well-designed and low-cost products. It’s clear that Ikea will have a significant place in the future due to the fact that it is a company that clearly cares about its customers and the quality of its products.