Last week we had to face a big, big challenge. Going to an IKEA store on a Sunday. As it was, nomen est omen, a very sunny day, we expected it to be quiet. However our ‘get in and get out’-strategy was doomed from the start. With a traffic jam on the highway we already prepared ourselves: IKEA would be packed.
It was kind of strange that during such nice weather so many people decided to go to an IKEA store instead of hanging out in the sun on the beach, what makes IKEA so…. cool? Well, a lot of youngsters, preparing to live in dorms or renting their first apartment, decorate it with IKEA. I don’t believe they just choose IKEA because it’s cheap as there are a lot more stores that sell cheap furniture. In fact IKEA is not even the cheapest of them at all. So what makes IKEA such a cool brand?
IKEA has some very strong points; first of all, their product mix is so diverse that there is something in it for pretty much everybody. By combining styles and furniture you can make it your own and with the low prices you can change or replace it whenever you want. It is something we stimulation junkies love! On top of that, we can consider IKEA as a real and authentic brand, with their roots deep in Scandinavia.
They are unique; there is no store which is spread across the world with the same format. And happiness….. it is something they definitely strive for with the set-up, the restaurant with the Swedish meatballs (we especially like them in The Netherlands), and kids areas. They want you to feel happy when visiting one of their stores. However, (and believe me on this one) stumbling over 500 people in a small corridor in the IKEA on a sunny afternoon is not something that makes you happy!
Taking it all together, they do have the ingredients to be a hot brand, but what happens at a certain point….boredom. Although they change their product mix regularly, when you walk into a room filled with IKEA furniture you will immediately recognize it, don’t you? That’s not cool to Gen Y’ers, it only means that you lack a style of your own. When a lot of your friends have the same Bjursta dining table, the same Karlstad couch and the same Dombås closet, it is not hot anymore.
So I am wondering, at what point will IKEA stop being packed on a sunny afternoon. What will they do to keep on stimulating us?