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  • Writer's pictureToucan Insights Staff

How to Implement a Marketing Strategy: The IKEA Case


Introduction


A marketing strategy allows businesses to stay in touch with their customers, design the correct items, and decide how to transmit information about those products.


Without a defined plan, companies won't know who their customers are, won't create the correct items, and will waste money promoting them.



Table of Contents




How to Implement a Marketing Strategy: The IKEA Case



1. What is a Marketing Strategy?


To keep it simple, a marketing strategy is a roadmap that indicates how to best target your audience and how to convert them into customers.


For your marketing plan to work, you have to answer the following questions:


  • What is your company’s value proposition?

  • What does your brand stand for?

  • What does your target audience look like?

  • What are their needs?

  • How do you communicate with your (prospective) clients?


With these questions in mind, you will have a better understanding of how to create your advertising and PR campaigns.



This research will allow you to gather valuable information about your market that will help you make the right strategic decisions.


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2. IKEA’s Killer Marketing Strategy


Being one of the most recognizable brands with an iconic logo helps to understand why IKEA’s marketing strategy is a success story.



IKEA prioritizes projecting a consistent brand message across all 7 elements to create a strong connection with their customers.



3. The 7 P's of IKEA Marketing


a. PRODUCT - Quality Meets Expectations



All of IKEA’s 9.500 products have the goal to last long and be reusable.



The elements of democratic design include:


Form - Beautiful designs that capture the attention of the consumers.


Function - The product must have a clear purpose.


Quality - Quite simply, the durability and good condition of IKEA’s products and materials.


Sustainability - From using only the necessary materials and resources to create the furniture plus reducing the amount of waste these designs produce.


Low price - Achieving the right balance between good quality and affordable prices by looking at the materials, changing the design, or going through the production process again.



b. PRICE - Affordable for Everyone


The price should match the perceived value your customers have regarding your products.


By researching your target audience and creating buyer personas you can find out how much they would be willing to spend on each item.


Looking at your competition plays a huge role if you want to get ahead of them.


You can do that by under-pricing your competitors or making your products match the price point.


IKEA maintains a balance between attracting customers willing to spend a limited amount of money on furnishings and making a profit on each product transaction.


The furniture retailer uses clever techniques to keep costs low.


First, the business cuts personnel by allowing customers to select products from the storage container.


Second, selling the furniture in its components instead of getting them already assembled is another decision based on keeping costs low.



The company applies the Price Point Perspective (PPP) that makes the price of your new office chair €59.99 instead of €60.


This psychological trick makes your mind believe that you are saving money and prompts consumers to purchase more.



c. PLACE - Leveraging Offline and Online Channels


The best way to identify where to sell your products is by truly knowing about your customers.


Some key features you might look into should be where your audience spends most of their time (supermarkets, regular brick-and-mortar stores, online stores) and to analyze where they would look for your products (search engines, magazines).


One of the reasons why hundreds of millions visit IKEA stores is because of its smart positioning.


They slowly shift from their original huge warehouses outside of towns to smaller stores in the city centers to get closer to their customers and make it more convenient.



d. PROMOTION - From a Picturesque Catalog to Creative and Original Ads


How to Implement a Marketing Strategy: The IKEA Case

“Experience the power of a bookbook” is a parody of Apple in which the new IKEA catalog is presented funnily.


This point refers to all the marketing, advertising, and sales strategies combined to reach your customers online or offline.



Each page is designed to the smallest detail and their furniture is staged in the best conditions to make it aesthetically pleasing to scroll through.


It’s undoubtedly one of their best marketing content and focuses on telling stories about their products.


They encourage people's creativity by arranging their items in such a way that they form a full picture with no details out of place.



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e. PHYSICAL EVIDENCE - Managing a Strong Trust Relationship


This is the aspect of your company that is perceived by your customers as legitimate and trustworthy.


This comes in two forms.


First, it is the evidence that your company exists.


Basically, everything that is created under your company's name like your logo, business card, banners, social media accounts, etc. is proof of your company’s existence.


Second, it includes all the physical and non-tangible items showing that your customers have purchased something from you or the service you have delivered to your audience.


This can be receipts, brochures, PDFs, etc.



Establishing trust with your target audience is one of the most important factors influencing public perceptions of your business. 


Showing your brand's visibility online or offline will ensure that your customers will have engaged with your company before they engage in purchasing actions.


To understand the different strategies that other companies have used to build trust among their target audiences, you would first need to conduct a Competitor Analysis.


f. PEOPLE - Be open for New Influencers


How to Implement a Marketing Strategy: The IKEA Case

Anyone who is directly or indirectly connected to your company is included in this category like your employees, influencers you are working with, company shareholders, and so on.


It is crucial to have people working for you who understand their role and have received enough training to represent your company positively.



For example, in this video, the famous artist Zara Larsson is trying out typical Swedish snacks that you can get at IKEA.


g. PROCESSES - Family-friendly Stores


How to Implement a Marketing Strategy: The IKEA Case

The last element of the 7 P’s of marketing talks about the various touch-points you have with your customers when delivering your product to the customer.


This includes looking into the payment methods your customers utilize to purchase and distribute your product, as well as more subtle activities like maintaining your client connections.


IKEA has shown with their kids-friendly manuals that they care about making the customer processes as comfortable as possible.


The company also experimented with augmented reality (A.R.). Customers can picture a new piece of furniture using the IKEA Place app and their phones' cameras.


This way, IKEA ensures that their customers prevent having a negative experience in case they find out too late that a new purchase wasn’t as fitting as they thought it would be.


Another example is their in-store layout in which they create a clear pathway with catalog stands on the whole path to make it very easy to look up your chosen products no matter where you are in the store.


Finally, a crucial component of their plan is providing spaces for children to play while their parents look for furniture, which is also an excellent example of customer service.



Conclusion


IKEA has shown over the years that it is a company that cares about providing value to its consumers and delivering a great customer experience.


The company’s marketing strategy focuses on creativity and doesn’t shy away from experimenting with new ideas.


They undoubtedly are a beacon for other companies on how to best address their target audience.


IKEA's marketing strategy goes way beyond developing quality and affordable furniture options.


They focus on creating a comprehensive experience that also includes dining and recreational options for children.


These additional customer-centric alternatives make the company a tempting choice for many families who even go to the store to enjoy these leisure activities.



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