Skaljak (2008) describes IKEA as a Swedish company that deals with retailing furnishings. Currently, the company has more than 237 stores in 33 countries. Most of these stores are located in Europe, the United States of America, Asia, Canada and Australia. In 2005, the IKEA opened more than 20 branches. It is the world leader I home furnishings and has long been known for selling well designed good quality products at low prices.
The company’s major international strategy is as provided in its vision, business idea and market positioning statement which gives the framework for all the IKEA marketing communication all over the world. Its vision is “To create a better everyday life for the many people” (IKEA 2005). The business idea is “To offer a wide range of well designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that many as many people as possible will be able to afford them” (IKEA 2005). Lastly, the compampany’s positioning statement reads, “Your partner in better living. We do our part, you do yours. Together we save the money” (IKEA 2005).
Through communicating the content of the above statement, framework and by encouraging the customers all over the world to experience its concept, the company greatly builds its brand. The brand of IKEA has been described as the sum total of the emotional and rational values upon which their consumers associate with its trademark together with the company’s reputation (Skaljak, 2008).
The company’s range of products acts a major boost for the sales because it I extensive enough to, encompassing all aspects that appeal the home needs of many people. The furnishings are also provided at low cost compared to their competitors. It maintains good relationship with its suppliers making enabling it to purchase good quality furniture. They are bought in bulk ensuring that the varied designs are economically produced and purchased.
Their products are based on functional approach to design and the quality of the products produced is appropriate for the intended purpose. Ensuring convenience is another major strategy where IKEA strives to provide everything under one roof (IKEA, 2005). Most of the products are available for immediate take-way. Additionally, the company has a number of subsidiaries in many countries that act franchisees that carry basic items, at the same time; they have the freedom of designing the rest of the products. This is the case in the United States of America which has so many franchises like the one in San Diego.
The biggest tool for marketing of IKEA is its catalogue. Annually, it is estimated that almost 70% of the marketing budget is spent on the catalogue, being produced in 38 different editions and in 17 different languages for the countries of operation. A total of 110 million catalogues were circulated last year only. On the hand, the company advertises all over the world, its public relations works tirelessly to keep potential customers close. For example, the UK marketing department has raised awareness through internet and other forms of communication (IKEA, UK, 2009).
Lastly, the company explores the cultural diversity and the communication of the countries they want to be established to ensure that they cater for their needs. A good example is in India where thee is indigenous religious values and traditions. The furnishings indented for such like markets are designed with caution and attention being given to the values.
IKEA uses the above strategy because it is viable and very convenient to reach the global market. For instance the brand name that has built reputation over many years gives it an upper hand (IKEA, 2005). It is also cost effective to use catalogues for advertisement as compared to other forms because it will promote give the potential buyers a true picture of the items and their prices.
The principal marketing strategy for IKEA remains the same throughout the whole world. For long time it been the catalogue as seen above. The catalogue makes use of Swedish flag’s colors, yellow and blue in the Logo. The reason behind a similar approach in strategy globally is the fact that most customers of the company share similar features universally. This does not mean that all aspects are constant but simply implies that most of the sentiments they have concerning furnishings are envisioned in the IKEA services (Skaljak, 2008). A majority of the features are shared by the customers in almost most of the countries. This is to mean that they like furniture of good design and high quality that is provided at an affordable cost.
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