Case study Ikea
Ikea is a multinational company that grew from a small activity to the leader of the low price furniture market. Their success is not only determined by a lean supply chain and business know how but also by the loyalty of its customers. The company’s strategy to approach the consumers is to study their needs and likes to be able to offer the best possible product. As the case describes, IKEA, adapts its products depending on needs and preferences of different country customers. For example, noticing that U.S. customers were buying vases to use as glasses because the average Ikea glassware wasn’t big enough, the firm developed bigger glasses for the U.S. market. Through intense customer research (observation, focus groups and surveys) IKEA tries to satisfy the consumers, and through its strong brand and locations attracts more and more clients.
IKEA’s value for its costumers is concentrated in founder Kamprad’s statement: “People have very thin wallets. We should take care of their interest” and this is what the company does, offering good quality and fashionable design at a low price. Consumers have some disadvantages in respect on what they would normally get from a normal furniture shop, having to transport and assemble the products themselves. IKEA builds and retains its customer’s loyalty by keeping a consistent image of style and quality, keeping low costs and offering a wide range of products adapted to the different customer’s needs, appealing to all type of socioeconomic groups, from students to families and innovating their products to keep the price down always in respect of the environment and the optimization of space.
To study consumer behavior a company needs to evaluate the environmental and buyer characteristics that influenced it. The cultural, economic, environmental, physiological, psychological and personal factor play a big role in the decisions that customers make when buying or thinking to buy a product.