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Ikea’s Household Appeal, Essay Example

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Essay

Ikea is one of the most innovative fast growing companies throughout the world. Their brand of household furniture and accessories. Ikea utilizes a wide range of strategic options in order to market to their growing audience. They have expanded in the last decade to a number of large international markets, and have mostly excelled by their advertising strategy which has worked in offering products that are both the same in quality and value. Where Ikea and other companies that have been successful in expanding realize, is that consumer behavior is pertinent to overall business strategy success. Consumer behavior is focused around the exercises prompting the obtaining and utilization of merchandise or administrations, including choice making methodologies that focus a buy. In this process, the consumer performs activities, for example, hunt, buy, utilization and assessment of items anticipated that will be utilized to help. Moreover, understanding consumer behavior is crucial to the long run accomplishment of any advertising procedure. According to research, “Consumer behaviors control the type of marketing strategy that organizations such as small businesses employ, so they conduct studies to determine which strategies are likely to prove most effective.” (Dietrich, 2014) For example, if organizations know all the more about the consumer choice making methodology, they can plan showcasing procedures and special messages that will influence consumers all the more successfully. IKEA for the most part focused around Scandinavian configuration and quality.

Looking at the business of Ikea, they have expanded to just a home furniture store in Sweden, to offering their standardized designs to stores around the world. One of their latest inventive creations is to try and appeal to a wide range of consumers. In opening its stores in Australia, Ikea introduced a new concept of implementing “Manland” a mancave or nursery for men who do not want to be bothered with shopping, as their partner shopped. While it initially lasted a weekend, their experiment has sparked worldwide attention. In discussing the marketing opportunities for Manland, there are criticisms in which are a disadvantage to the company. The marketing advantage of appealing to men that shop with women, or men that are dragged to the stores with their partners, seems like a good solution. Ikea already provides a nursery for children, why not provide a nursery for men. When men come into Ikea, their shopping partner can drop them off and receive a beeper that buzzes after 30 minutes to come and pick them up. The lounge provides food, television centered on sports, and camaraderie among other men that want to kickback while their partners shop.

An advantage is that men will be able to comfortable, when their partner is shopping. Ikea’s strategy provides accommodation, and comfort, while also making sure that their products are cost effective. The concept also works to Ikea’s advantage, as word-of-mouth has spread considerably around the media, which once men come to the store they can kick back in their men lounge. This provides promotion that doesn’t cost Ikea a cent. The idea has spread over social media, and other sectors in which Ikea doesn’t have to pay for.  Women will be able to have more time to shop, which increases sales, and make more men want to come to the store. However, the disadvantages are also considerable, as many critics have said that the concept is sexist. (The Week Staff, 2011) It re-implies the notion that women are to the shopping and household work while men are allowed to do nothing but relax. This a disadvantage that can hurt Ikea’s bottom line, if their reputation is tarnished by individuals that believe that Ikea doesn’t take the role of women shoppers under consideration. One of their biggest consumers is women, and by playing to accommodate men, it provides a negative attitude. It also can create conflict in which drives the idea that men have no decision-making power in the home. As men are dropped off, just like children, they are not able to put in any input to decisions such as the type of décor for their home. Why this idea is not permanent, Ikea can expand this idea by providing more time in Manland, or moving around displays in the store to appeal more to men and women that shopped throughout the store. While there will be much criticism, it seems that it has been largely popular among consumers.

Conspicuous consumption is related the social class and status and tries to offset the lack of esteem by focusing on consumption. It is largely based on showing off to others by having visual products that others can see. Although Ikea provides cost-effective products, some of their furnishes are higher than items an individual would purchase from stores like Wal-Mart or Target. It provides, “lower-status consumers to feel socially competitive and increase their consumption to “get ahead of the Joneses.” (Hoyer, MacInnis, Pieters 2002) Many different people from various social classes like to shop Ikea because they can get quality products for an okay price while also having the flexibility to show off their items around their homes. In regards to voluntary simplicity, Ikea is the perfect store because it provides, conscious limitations on purchasing and consumption for more eco-friendly lifestyle. Ikea provides minimal or standardize furnishings that can cater to a niche market of conscious consumers. Compensatory consumption behavior is largely identified with women shoppers that like to shop under stress, and Ikea supplies inexpensive small items such as potted plants, or art to hang up, that can offer immediate gratification to save money and be able to purchase items for their homes. These types of consumer behaviors work to Ikea’s advantage of offering an array of products that are both cost-effective, quality, and eco-friendly.

Controversy is sometimes good for companies. Since the eruption of social media, stores have had to pump up on their PR department in order to answer many consumer complaints, criticisms and feedback about happenings in their stores. In regards to Ikea making a socially conscious, and business minded stand to include gay couples in their advertisement is has been heavily criticized and lauded as an innovative push to be socially accommodating to a growing minority. The idea of including gays in their marketing strategy isn’t new to the company, as they included gay couples in their TV advertisements back in 1994. Since then that have continued to include instead of shy away from the controversy by having the social attitude that, ““We are open to all families.” The ad goes on to say: “With us, you will feel at home. What we want to do is make life easier for everyone, every family, whoever they are” (Case Study). This has created a considerable buzz that has helped Ikea become an advocate for gay rights and partner for gay couples. While there has been much controversy since their first ad in 1994, including a bomb threat to one of their stores. The company hasn’t shied away from including all types of families in their advertisements, and will continue to do so as it has made the store’s image and appeal increase significantly in different countries around the world.

One of Ikea’s first marketing strategies was a printout catalogs that were sent out to consumers, they continue with this promotion as it continues to be an intricate strategy to drive promotion, and consumer behavior to individuals who do not like to look to the internet to see ads. The catalogs are available for consumers to carry with them, look without the need wait for internet images to load, and are environmental friendly because they are simple to recycle. They can be carried in a bag or purchase, and consumers can filter through the pictures and styles they want in hand. Ikea chooses this option while others turn to the internet because they can easily display their showrooms, which accomplish more than with printed ads, in which they can change to accommodate each region that the store is located. The printed catalogs provide the look that the company wants to share, as they use computer generated imagery in order show how the furniture would look in an individuals’ home.

Women are a large part of Ikea’s audience. In using advertisement and strategies to cater to moms, they have built an in-store nursery, in which the parent can leave their children and are provided with a beeper in case of emergencies. Their role is important to the business strategy because Ikea stresses providing products that for families. The easy to assemble furniture make it easier for women, which are bent on using an array of tools to set up tables, or shelves around running children. According to research women dominate 65 percent of the global spending power, and in the United States that percentage is raised by 20 percent. (Fabry, 2011) Women take many roles in the home including in the traditional sense the homemaker, the caretaker, and for many the breadwinner as well. Women are a large factor in the home, and increasing problem in many sectors of the private and public industry including education, business, environment, and government. While many women still feel underrepresented in the consumer market, Ikea and other stores have zeroed in on their importance by providing an experience that is largely satisfactory to mothers. They provide a kid-friendly atmosphere, family washrooms, a play-are, a cafeteria, and a toy section for kids, in which kids can play or test out the products.

The products that kids can play on or with includes indoor swings, children’s utensils, and furnishings that pique the interest of any wired child in a store. While they consider the mother’s role, they also include the dad’s role by implanting the mancave, and making assembly much easier for the average do-it yourself individual.  Not only do they target families, but also singles by offering print out ads, or marketing strategies to include families without children, couples, and singles that are looking to decorate or furnish their homes.  While each member can play a role in the decision-making process, Ikea makes it easier by providing showrooms, or strategies that include the entire family, and individuals through their large range in products and offerings. This is what makes Ikea unique, and continue to drive their growth and profits.

References

Consumer Behavior Case Analysis Ikea. (2014). Case Study.

Dietrich, Rena. (2014). The Effect of Consumer Behaviour in Marketing of an Organization. Chron. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/effect-consumer-behaviour-marketing-organization-17934.html

Fabry, Sarah. (2011). Women Dominate The Global Market Place; Here Are 5 Keys To Reaching Them. Fast Company. Retrieved from http://www.fastcodesign.com/1663594/women-dominate-the-global-market-place-here-are-5-keys-to-reaching-them

Hoyer, Wayne, MacInnis, Deborah J., Pieters, Rik. (2012). Consumer Behavior. Cengage Learning.

The Week Staff. (2011). Manland: IKEA’s day-care for husbands. The Week. Retrieved from http://theweek.com/article/index/219328/manland-ikeas-daycare-for-husbands

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