IKEA Customer inserts his/her name Institution’s name Brand Overview- IKEA The Swedish retailer IKEA’s success can be traced largely to its successful branding strategy. The democratic design used at the company is reflected in its wide range of product offerings, including home furnishings, which offer a unique blend of competitive price and appropriate form and functionality…
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For one thing, the company does not offer cliche designs; in fact, its modern and eccentric designs are a major source of competitive advantage for IKEA. The company has positioned itself as offering everything a customer would want to make a home. Although the Swedish influence dominates the ideology apparent in IKEA’s products, the company has succeeded in customizing its marketing messages across a host of countries. For instance, the company’s advertising in France is aimed at “tidying up” things (Duncun, 2006), whereas in U.S.A it markets itself through “winter sales”. Although it is predominantly a mass-market brand, the company’s PR stunts and guerilla marketing techniques vary from one country to another. Drawing on the research that balconies are widely used for storage purposes in Europe, the company advertised a picture of colored balconies of an apartment which appeared to be like chest drawers (Jepsen, 2009). Not only do such strategies enhance IKEA’s presence but appeal to customers of particular cultures. Furniture purchased from IKEA usually includes a set of instructions pertaining to the installation and setup of that furniture (Pride & Ferrell, 2008)- a concept unparalleled by its competitors. Although the brand has been associated primarily with furniture, it offers a complete home shopping experience to customers. The store’s layout is such that customers walk through the entire outlet before exiting which basically exposes the customers to a wide range of products and not just furniture (Pride & Ferrell, 2008). Visits to IKEA, therefore, are not just “grab-and-go”; rather, it induces a lot of spot/impulse purchases as customers end up buying what they never intended to. As far as its promotional strategies are concerned, IKEA has focused on including humor in its dominantly Swedish ads. In fact, the Swedish accent in the ads is so pronounced that customers have come to associate this accent with IKEA ads. This is consistent with the fact that the Country of Origin (COO) effect positively impacts brand equity (Bruwer & Johnson, 2010). Furthermore, the company is not just unconventional when it comes to product designs- its eccentricity can be judged from the fact that it launched a beer under the IKEA label which was sold at its store. This created a great deal of curiosity amongst customers who visited the store to experience it. All in all, the IKEA brand offers unmatched balance of affordability and usability along with a smooth shopping experience. Customers cannot possibly find such a combination of quality and cost anywhere else. Unconventional designs, enhanced user experience and user-friendly retail layout together strengthen the IKEA brand. Involvement theory and IKEA The involvement theory states that the extent to which customers process information depends on the “relevance of the purchase” (Schiffman, O’Cass, Paladino, D’Alessandro, & Bednall, 2011). IKEA offers a mix of products with some being low-involvement ones and the rest being high-involvement. The unconventionality of designs offered adds technicality to the usage and functionality of the product, thereby making it imperative for customers to engage in conscious cognitive processing before buying such products. Since the products’
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