CONTEMPORARY MARKETING STRATEGY
Ikea CASE STUDY
Dr. Ian Michael
SALMAN MAQSOOD SHEIKH
Word count - approx. 1700 WORDS
Develop a profile of the typical ikea customer. To what extent does this profile vary across countries?
Ikea has managed to create an unbeatable atmosphere throughout each and every store they have opened world-wide. Paying attention to every little detail from beddings to photo frames, it gives visitors a sense of being at home regardless of their cultural or ethnic background. Every single display at Ikea instigates the feeling to push forward and see more, this is because the company focuses completely on the customer. A person can walk into the store without the intent of spending and walks out buying something at the end. The customers that shop from Ikea can be divided into many categories, and this can be based on a lot of different typologies too. There can be casual customers, who decide to do some small accessory shopping, there can be people who visit the store to eat at the restaurant, The typical Ikea customer can range from low to upper-middleclass, usually young couples or families. They can be first time home owners or movers. And they can be of diverse cultures, in places such as Dubai, where population is vastly diversified, you can find a lot of different people having the same buying behavior at Ikea. This profile can differ across different countries in a variety of ways, there can be economical factors, or demographic factor and it can also depend on the level of disposable income the middleclass people have. For example, China is the Largest supplier of Ikea products in the world, and a typical Chinese Ikea customer earns about Yen 3,300($399)per month the national average is Yen 1,000($121) and buys Yen 300($36) of merchandise per visit. Most of these customers are 20 to 35 years old but the store has repositioned itself to reach the target age of 45 as well, In general Ikea customers are better educated, earn higher incomes, and travel more than the average Chinese, and as true as it is, roughly 70 % of Ikea customers world wide are women. (Miller, P. M.)
Discuss ikea'S STRATEGY in terms of: Brand positioning, brand globalisation, pricing strategies, and sustainability
Ikea has positioned itself as a budget brand and has done it very brilliantly, they strive to make each and every customer's visit a unique and memorable one. They have achieved this in so many ways such as encouraging customer interaction, they store their products with the least amount of packaging material to save on costs, the store has huge pictures explaining their philosophy, and even the free pencils and measuring tapes help in keeping the customers happy. According to their UK website, their vision is "To create a better life for many people" and their Market positioning statement reads "your partner in better living. We do our part, you do yours and together we save money". (http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/). Ikea recently has 301 stores across 37 countries, and plans are underway to open more, but regardless of the background, culture or traditions of the country, most of the stores have similar structures. They have standardized the brand and at the same time making different people believe that their products are worth it. For example, they have never gone astray from the color scheme of the stores as all of them are blue and yellow which derived from the Swedish flag. Ikea defines its target customer as the global middle class people that share buying habits. The company is consistent in following their perceived image as a value brand, and they maintain the Swedish influence at each and every store. They use different strategies for different countries for example, they have advertisement campaigns in France, they have a winter sale in USA. Even though they standardize on the major aspects of the stores, they tend...
References: Miller, M.P. (2004). _IKEA with Chinese Characteristics._ Available: http://www.chinabusinessreview.com/public/0407/company_profile.html. Last accessed 12/18/2009.
Owens, H. _Ikea: the natural step case study._ Available: http://www.naturalstep.org/en/usa/ikea. Last accessed 12/18/2009.
Porter, M.E. (1985) Competitive Advantage, Free Press, New York, 1985.
Salman Maqsood Shiekh M00122796
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