Strategic Design LT 2.2 – Understanding Ideals

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  • Post published:16 August 2022

In the second lesson task we had to visit a well-known store and do a write-up on its brand identity and ideals. The brand I chose to write about was Ikea. Because of illness I was unable to visit the store this week, so I had to make use of the knowledge I’ve gained through the countless times I have visited Ikea in the past. 

Ikea is a multinational furniture store founded in Sweden in 1943. It has become the largest furniture retailer in the world, and is especially known for their ready-to-assemble furniture, which are easy to carry and transport.

From my own experience, I would say that the main part of Ikea’s brand ideal, which they are well known for, would be quality products at low prices and a wide product assortiment. With affordable furniture and household products, they attract all kinds of people to their stores. They have, in many countries, positioned themselves as the main go-to brand for cheap, yet modern furniture.

Ikea isn’t a store you just drop by. The stores are usually located outside the city centre (at least the ones I’ve visited in Norway and Sweden), sometimes at remote places. This is probably mainly due to practical reasons, like having enough real estate for the gigantic buildings, but it also makes for a little journey for customers to visit their stores. This way, customers oftentimes go to their stores when there’s several things they need to buy. After travelling to Ikea, either by car, by public transport or by one of Ikea’s free buses, customers are prepared to spend time.

Ikea showroom –

Ikea has made walking through a store into being an experience in itself. They have all of their available furniture at display through different showrooms, which are models of furnished and decorated rooms for the customers to enter and gather inspiration from. This also requires enormous buildings. These are laid out in a way that encourage customers to walk around the entire warehouse, which can lead to spending half a day at their store. This is certainly a part of Ikea’s plan, thus, there are both playrooms for kids, cafeterias and restaurants to find at their stores. I would say that Ikea’s business model aims for customers to spend a lot of time at their stores, and to buy large quantities at once. They are offering “everything you need” to furnish and decorate your home — and much more. Through a long and time-consuming journey at Ikea, there’s a high probability that customers pick up more products than first intended.

Ikea’s logo consists of a wordmark inside an ellipse, inside an rectangular shape. The design has been relatively consistent over the last 50 years. In the 80’s, their logo got the colors of the Swedish flag, blue and yellow, which it still has today. Their roots are also visible through the restaurant, where they serve traditional Swedish food. The logo reflects the store’s concept very well. Ikea products are not aimed toward rich people that want luxury products, but rather to those looking for standard quality at a reasonable price. The logo is simple, not trying to be fancy — just like their products. It also reflects their roots through the color choice.

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