How IKEA Redefined Customer-Centricity With Digital Marketing

January 23, 2020 - Reading Time: 4 minutes

IKEA is a globally-recognised brand with many stores in various parts of the world. IKEA is known for its affordable and functional home furnishing products but in recent years, it has gained recognition for the way it uses digital technology to market its products and brand.

In this article, we dive deep into IKEA’s customer-centric digital marketing strategy. Here are some lessons from the Swedish brand.

1. Stay Relevant on Social Media

IKEA’s social media page is a great case study for content marketing, especially with regard to its use of humour to connect with customers.

Humour is a great way to bond with an online audience; just take a look at meme culture. By posting cheeky content referencing the latest talk of the town, it didn’t take long for IKEA to establish itself as one of the wittiest brands on social media.

The recent annular solar eclipse made big news in Singapore; it’s rare for one to be sighted from the country. The moon obscured the sun to form a “ring of fire” and pictures of the eclipse went viral. IKEA Singapore used the opportunity to cleverly plug their light-sensitive, sound-activated STOLPA wall clock.

 

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Missed the eclipse?

A post shared by IKEA SG (@ikeasingapore) on

In 2018, a Singaporean man made the news for dismantling a bench from a public bus stop and bringing it home. IKEA had a hilarious response to the bizarre event.

 

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Bring home a way more affordable bench from our store (not the bus stop).

A post shared by IKEA SG (@ikeasingapore) on

Remember Marie Kondo? IKEA got on that too.

 

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Decluttering? We’ve got just what you need to go from mess to less. #homeorganizer #decluttering #organized #IKEASingapore #IKEAsg

A post shared by IKEA SG (@ikeasingapore) on

Apart from witty crowd-pleasers, IKEA also regularly uploads social media content that is relatable to its audience. Take a look at its #FirstWorldProblem-#FirstWorldSolution series. The series highlights common problems that people face while showing how IKEA products solve those problems.

Social media is a fantastic tool to promote your product in creative ways. The takeaway here is not to be funny for the sake of it but to understand your audience – know what your customers love and create content that resonates with them. It’s okay if you’re not funny but you must be relatable.

2. Use Augmented Reality

Technology is always evolving; new features are constantly being developed. It is up to marketers to use them in a way that benefits both businesses and consumers.

A great technological development that we will definitely be seeing more of is augmented reality (AR). Augmented reality is the process of modifying real environments with computer-generated information, usually through superimposition. Just think Pokémon GO.

Just as how game designers are using AR to elevate the gaming experience, businesses like IKEA are using AR to improve the shopping experience.

IKEA PLACE is a mobile application that uses AR technology to help customers visualise how IKEA furniture would look in their homes without having to go down to the store. All they need to do is scan the room with their mobile phones, browse the in-app catalogue for furnishing products and virtually “place” the selected products in the room.

With this app IKEA is clearly trying to alleviate the tedious, and at times frustrating, process of ensuring that your new furnishing fits well. IKEA PLACE also aids buyers in purchase decisions, allowing them to literally picture the furniture in their room before they buy. Remember: the easier you make the buying process, the more likely customers will complete it. Businesses should be on the lookout for new technologies, such as AR, that could potentially help them make their customers’ lives easier.

3. Use YouTube

IKEA Malaysia’s Square Metre Challenge series on YouTube provides people with tips on how to maximise space in rooms (using IKEA furniture of course).

With living spaces getting smaller, these YouTube videos are extremely relevant. They don’t just provide consumers with useful tips on organisation, they also clearly show how IKEA’s products are perfectly suited to small spaces. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.

Like IKEA, businesses should seek to understand the pain points of their target consumers and show how their products help to solve the problem. It’s the most effective way to win consumers over.

IKEA’s marketing success can be attributed to its customer-centric strategy. By constantly finding ways to improve customer experience, IKEA has created a brand that consumers resonate with and genuinely appreciate. So the next time you’re planning a campaign, think of what your customers want and what they connect with. Keep them at the heart of your campaign and you just might capture theirs.

 

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3 Overlooked Aspects of Branding

January 9, 2020 - Reading Time: 3 minutes

Branding is so much more than just perfecting your logo and diligently applying your brand colours to your collaterals. It covers everything from colours, to typeface, to copy. Every element has to work together to create a consistent brand personality and image.

Here are three aspects of branding that are often overlooked.

1. Typeface

Choosing a typeface for your brand is serious business. It is a critical element of design that has both functional and aesthetic purposes. Your choice of typeface doesn’t just affect the legibility of text, it also conveys the personality of your brand.

Playful typefaces, such as Lemon Bird and AirFool, can help you establish a fun-loving image.

If it is important to maintain a professional and business-friendly image, more traditional typefaces like Source Sans Pro and Cinzel would be more appropriate.

Some brands, like Netflix and Airbnb, have even gone to the extent of creating their own typefaces. In fact, custom typefaces are a growing trend; even smaller companies are investing in them.

Via It’s Nice That

 

A striking, unique typeface will help differentiate your brand, as well as boost the memorability of your brand. Another upside of having your own typeface: you save on licensing fees in the long run.

2. Layout

Another overlooked aspect of branding is the layout of your collateral designs.

Layout refers to how elements are arranged on a page. It works with copy and other design elements to present a certain image of your brand. The layout of your collaterals can say a lot about your brand – whether you’re formal or playful, traditional or avant-garde. Less conventional brands may decide to break free from conventional grids.

Check out these invitation cards we’ve designed for two very different brands – Siemens and Eyedentity.

Notice that Siemens has a more conventional looking card. Since professionalism and reliability are two important aspects of Siemens’ brand, the invitation card had be designed accordingly. Eyedentity, on the other hand, is a new optical brand that champions self-expression. Its invitation card walks the talk with bold colours and unconventional folds.

3. Tone of Voice

Just as a person’s speech mannerisms can inform you of his or her personality, a brand’s tone of voice will influence how consumers see it. How your brand speaks – the tone of your copy – tells your audience about your brand personality. The words you use and how you phrase sentences all play a part in building your brand’s image.

Compare these two Instagram posts from fashion brands Superdry and In Good Company.

 

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Beat the chill in style with the Everest Ella bomber, win-win. @joelmignott 🔎154260

A post shared by Superdry (@superdry) on

 

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An architectural style with modern lines and strong shoulders. #IGCasia #IGCmari

A post shared by IN GOOD COMPANY (@igcasia) on

Notice how these two posts have the same goal – to promote a piece of clothing – but very different tones of voice. Superdry uses more colloquial language while In Good Company has a more formal, reserved tone. This makes sense because Superdry and In Good Company have very different brand personalities. Superdry sells more casual, trendy clothes whereas In Good Company’s clothes are more sophisticated in style. Their tone of voice matches their brand image.

The tone of your copy is an integral part of your brand. Copy and visuals work hand in hand to build your brand image.

We hope this article has given you deeper insight into the branding process. Remember to keep these three points in mind whenever you’re designing your communications to build a more holistic brand.

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