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IKEA’s Direct to Consumer Marketing to Grow Customer Base

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April 25, 2013

IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer, is rolling out an “IKEA Family” loyalty program. Specifically designed to keep the steam turned up on its integrated marketing channels (email, print, and social media).

Loyal Customer Base Receives Printed Materials

IKEA has a loyal customer base of 3.6 million people who opted into IKEAs database to receive printed materials for specials, flyers and its annual print catalog, which mails to 20 million people in the U.S. alone. Leontyne Green, IKEA North America CMO, says the catalog is the most important piece of the communications they produce.

The addition of the customer relationship program, IKEA Family, is meant to fill in the gaps of communications and build loyalty systematically. IKEA already has one million people signed up for the loyalty program.

IKEA Family provides discounts on in-store food and drink, access to seminars and events, member savings, and entry into gift card drawings.

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The Canadians Launch of IKEA Family

Rather than doing the trite thing of offering a free toaster, barbeque or CD player, IKEA Canada grew its IKEA family enrollment by giving something that was relevant to the brand, according to Judy Elder, managing director of Toronto-based Ogilvy & Mather Direct.

Customers received a package containing a tape measure, IKEA magazine full of how-to tips, a catalog, large format calendar and a punch-and-munch discount card for the company’s in-store food court. Numbers aren’t in, but sign ups and shoppers coming to the membership desk at the stores has increased.

Putting Marketing Frosting on the Cake with Social Media

Green is also championing one of IKEA’s first forays into social media by launching its “Bring Your Own Friends” promotion. IKEA North America is leveraging its 430,000 Facebook fans by asking them to BYOF (bring your own friends) for a full day of freebies, discounts and storewide perks, while at the same time raising $50,000 for the Save the Children cause.

IKEA’s marketing approach of cool product packaging compliment its ultra low prices. The combination of cool products and low prices has enabled IKEA to endure the recession even though 80% of its sales are in crisis-hit Europe.
SOURCE:“What are the Secrets to IKEA’s Success?” Tom White, tutor2U, March 01, 2011.

IKEA Takeaways With Successful Marketing Strategies

IKEA’s endurance through hard times, upward growth, and phenomenal fan base as indicated by its opt-in database, shows the company’s operational and successful marketing strategies that are working. Here’s what it is doing right.

  • Not cutting its marketing budget (neither print marketing , nor digitally but adding programs).
  • Building a multi-channel campaign around its print anchor – its annual catalog.
  • Diving into social media by specifically leveraging fans to bring more fans and reward them for doing so.
  • Listening intently to its customers for new opportunities.

Not caving to pressure to go public, IKEA maintained low prices by sticking to their private roots. Less red tape leaves more time for IKEA workers to go through rolls of packing tape, shipping even more furniture across the Continents.

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