IKEA, the Swedish furniture company calls itself the Life Improvement Store. They want to reach even more consumers with their different solutions and demonstrate the unique ideas they have to make everyday life at home better.
Talking openly about co-creation with customers is a main driver for product innovation and creativity. Values as a constant desire for renewal or providing solutions to problems are rooted in their history and how they have evolved as a brand and as a company. Those values have provided a perfect environment for IKEA to “dare” relying on consumer insights to drive marketing and product ideas.
With the Home Tour, which is an initiative to send five American employees on a yearlong road trip to provide families with makeovers that use merchandise from local IKEA stores. This experience will provide many conversations to understand participants needs and desires that can ignite new product developments. The campaign is being made in a documentary series to be produced by creative employees within the IKEA head office. It is published on a special YouTube channel.
This way IKEA is studying people, getting close to them, going into their homes, having conversations, and reading reports. They try to understand and fulfil the needs of consumers, dreams and desires. Through the Home Report they have the opportunity for consumers to tell what is going on in their life and how they can help them. All that information can feed back to communication, to product development, to a store, an online experience.
“For me, it comes back to co-creation, collaborative effort between co-works, consumers and the brand” – Rich D’Amico, Deputy Marketing Director at IKEA USA
The fact that consumers are co-creating the value with IKEA through their involvement and work only seems to enhance the service experience, and thus make it easier to develop these relationships. It is in the successful management of these relationship building interactions and experiences that IKEA appears to excel.
I think IKEA is doing a good job by interacting with consumers to better understand their needs, dreams and desires. Especially when the company is visiting consumers’ home the company can understand the consumers and anticipate on it. Customers construct the furniture themselves, so it must be easy and practical to stay competitive to other furniture companies. With the inspiration of customers this can be accomplished, because other customers will also benefit from the improvements. A lot of what IKEA is doing drives marketing is co-created with consumers. And what they do in terms of product development is co-creation with consumers.