Develop a profile of the typical IKEA customer. To what extent does the profile vary across countries? IKEA customers’ profiles are typically relative to their domestic markets as their perceptions can be more or less easily matched with their expectations. IKEA targets customers who are willing to assemble furniture themselves, self-servicing while looking at the furniture, and willing to deliver furniture home by themselves. The majority of the customers like to perceive themselves as either practical or modern or non traditional or all of these. They are not attached to the traditional furniture image and design and are open-minded to diversified culture, more inclined to prefer what they perceive of IKEA’s design as good, modern and streamlined. In their perceptions, simplicity and practicality are likely to be more important than traditional. The perception of what can be described as good value of money can be different on a regional level where paying 240 Euro for a simple bed in Sweden, the UK or USA can be different from good value in Poland, Hungary or Czech Republic. This can be exploited on a local level simply by ensuring that the customers perceptions match expectations. Furthermore, labor cost is low in China, the Do-It-Yourself culture is not greatly accepted by the nation thus Chinese customers use IKEA’s assembly services more than customers in other countries. Besides, US market unlike any other Europe country which accepts IKEA products with ‘Swedish’ design, they prefer product that suits their needs and preferences.
Discuss how IKEA’s management wants the brand to be positioned in the eyes and minds of the retailer’s customers.
IKEA has made its name by supplying Scandinavian style at Asian prices and it has also managed its international expansion without stumbling. Besides, they are dedicated to “innovation in the field of architectural and interior design” as compared to the Gates Foundation who devotes most of its resources...
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