One man’s hell is another man’s heaven. At least, that’s what I would say about IKEA.
In September last year, my wife, my <2 year (FREE TICKETS!) old and I went on a trip to Norway. We wanted to go on one international vacation before my wife’s birthday. (No points for guessing the age!)
We had a crazy trip – but the highlight was our visit to IKEA in Oslo. I had lived abroad and visited IKEA numerous times in various countries and it held a special, emotional bond in my heart.
From our AirBnb at Sigurds Gate, we had to walk for about a kilometer to reach the metro, then swap two trains, reach a bus stop and then walk some more before we could enter the store.
All this with a toddler with a sugar rush on a dinky, banged up stroller.
And we did it.
In fact, once we got into the store, we went through the entire store – twice – adding and removing stuff from our cart, pretending we are millionaires and making up excuses like this is not available in India, so we gotta get that item.
We ended up buying special lamps, bags, knives, potato peelers, rugs, boxes, notebooks, leds, candles and a whole lot more – just because we loved what we saw.
And then, after spending what seemed to be a fair price for a healthy kidney, or the latest iPhone, we repeated our exhausting trek, this time with extra luggage – back to our room.
A few days later, we ended up in Bangalore and started the emotionally draining dance of gifting people stuff and waiting like a wounded puppy for any glint of appreciation. Our parents and inlaws were pleasantly surprised and did the customary objections based on ‘Oh! You didn’t have to get us anything!’ to ‘It must have been expensive!’.
They all took their gifts anyway.
But one of my friends, a fellow entrepreneur asked me, “Macha, why are you gifting me shit from Amazon?”
And that led me to the fact that IKEA sells stuff on Amazon.
That also led me to draw the following conclusions on positioning, messaging and funnels:
- IKEA is not a brand I had expected would sell stuff through an aggregator like Amazon. Sure, in hindsight, my vision is 20/20, but for me, IKEA has always been associated with the store shopping experience & the assembly experience.
- I am confident that I bought atleast 300% more than I needed – just because I had a nostalgic association with the brand.
- My family and I braved a long journey in a foreign land – just because we wanted to experience the story we had in our heads – the story of what IKEA meant to me – and what it can mean to us.
- Unbranded/non-branded stuff that we get from other sources can be just as good, if not better, but it would never get me to suspend rational thought and go on emotion alone.
- This is sort of an experience is something your customers crave and your brand needs. And I am the right guy to build it for you. Get in touch with me by replying to this mail to get started.
Also, in case you missed it, I’m giving away a free ebook called ‘The Tools of The Trade’ – a collection of 55 FREE tools you can use to build your online presence.
For now, this is Arvindh saying over and out.