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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