Every brand and business owner markets their name in hopes of growing their business, but is your only strategy moving product off the shelf? Meaning, are you only gaining for the short term, or are you building for the long term with your marketing attempts? It’s a no brainer, long-term growth is what every business owner covets, so here is a brief outline of a few things I picked up at a speaking event I recently attended in regards to opening a store in a new market.
IKEA is a company that is widely known for inexpensive flat packed furniture and their bright blue buildings with the weird name that has everyone asking, “what does that even mean?” The Google machine can inform you if you’re interested in finding out since I’m not blogging about the origin of their name today. They know and understand that the impression of many is cheap and inexpensive products, so when they grew into the Kansas City market they developed a marketing strategy to help combat that image.
When they looked at the Kansas City market they conducted a demographic study to identify the area’s residents. What they found was that a large portion of the nearby residents in their target area fell under a classification they call “Rock Steady”, meaning families with stable employment, decent household income and gravitate toward purchasing higher quality products from businesses and brands they know and trust.
Armed with this information IKEA devised a marketing strategy that they called “Good Neighbor”. This strategy was designed to build trust in the community and get those people to visit the store that normally would not. They also wanted to show that they have a vast array of quality sustainable products in addition to the more cost effective products that created the perception of cheap and inexpensive. One of the ways they did that was by designing print ads, bill board signs, door hangers and mailers where the main text block color was a sea foam green and the pictures displayed elegant high quality furniture that flowed great within the spaces pictured. By completely moving away from their bright blue and yellow identity in their initial ads they were able to get consumers to look at their ads and provoke curiosity. Some may have even said, “wow I didn’t know IKEA sold furniture like that”.
They also conducted several pop-up events like Family Night at the Sporting KC Game, Family Movie Night at Boulevard Drive-In, a Jazz Block Party, and an Art Fest in Westport. Each of these events was created to build a trust with the surrounding community and provide a medium for face-to-face interaction where they were able to encourage attending the grand opening for giveaways, live music and other entertainment. At the grand opening they heavily promoted their loyalty program “Family” which they use to drive sales and deliver relevant information and deals to their customers.
Social Media also played a big role in their Grand Opening success. Not only did they deliver informative content about their events prior to opening as well as the actual Main Event it self, but they delivered an engaging contest through Facebook also. The contest was to guess how much all the furniture in a well-designed room would cost, the closest guess a won large dollar amount in the form of an IKEA gift card.
The results from their Grand Opening marketing strategy “Good Neighbor”, was literally hundreds of people flocking to their store and camping out along the side of the building, some of which started 3 days prior to the event. Since IKEA opened it’s doors in September 2014 they have welcomed thousands upon thousands inside, and feel as though they have changed the views of many in the surrounding community about what IKEA offers as a furniture store, a company and community member.