IKEA

IKEA Furniture Is A Snap

IKEA has always been a company that has innovated. It shows in everything from the use of materials, to the adoption of solar power for all of their stores.  They are constantly pushing themselves forward, growing, adapting, changing as they bring new products to market. If you are familiar with IKEA furniture, you probably know that you will be using an Allen wrench, and a screwdriver to get the job done, but now thanks to the designers on the team, you might not.

KEA has recently introduced a series of snap together furniture using a new dowel and wedge system. The new joint is called a wedge dowel, and it’s specifically designed for wooden products. Products like the Lisbo table, for instance, have a small ribbed wedge at the top of each leg, which is then inserted into a pre-machined hole in the tabletop. the joint requires no glue and can be taken apart and reassembled multiple times without damaging the fastener.

IKEA recognized the fact that it included a lot of small fittings with each of their products. The number of parts is often a turnoff for customers, and a waste of resources. By incorporating the wedge dowel, assembly time decreases and IKEA saves money by removing all the metal fasteners.

The special design was initially introduced in 2014 as a proof of concept in the Regissör storage products and Stockholm cabinets. It was tested on these products for 3 years and now IKEA intends to incorporate the system into other pieces.

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IKEA -Relax its a meal not a competition.

I love this new spot from Ikea poking fun at all the Instagrammers obsessed with taking pictures of their food. The tag line at the end sums it up so well it’s not a competition, it’s a meal. When tied to the line Relax, they completely sell the concept behind IKEA kitchen design, and the companies approach to cooking and sharing a meal, sharing is about relaxed human interaction, not seeing how many people react to that photo of your meal out. Put down your phone and have a conversation people.

SLADDA, the IKEA Bike.

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Well this looks promising, especially if you are looking for a commuter bike, or a city runabout for picking up a few things at the market or store.

IKEA is going to start selling a low-maintenance unisex bicycle named SLADDA this August. “Designed to fit an urban lifestyle,” SLADDA was created with help from global design consultancy Veryday. The bike is designed to be low maintenance so don’t expect high end fittings like a 20 speed Shimano shifter or carbon fiber wheels. What it does offer though is a corrosion-resistant cogged drive belt which IKEA says will last for an impressive 9,320 miles before it needs to be replaced and disc brakes.

The bike frame is made of aluminium and comes coated in two layers of lacquer to protect against mud, salt and scratches, and light enough to be carried up a flight of stairs to your condo or apartment. Handlebars are height-adjustable, and the wheels come in either 26 or 28 inches, making the bike suitable for anyone from age of 12 upwards. The bike is also built with a click system which allows you to attach accessories, like a basket, fenders or a cart which have already been announced.

Designer

Sladda has already landed a coveted Red Dot Design Award and is slated to go on sale, in Europe this August. No word on when it or if it goes on sale in the USA The projected price is €699 (USD $797) for the general public, and €499 (USD $569) for members of the Ikea Family loyalty program.

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The IKEA Home Tour Series – Digital Marketing Done Right.

It's about to get all real on this office space.

It’s about to get all real on this office space.

A few months back, I received an email from IKEA for the IKEA Home Tour contest. The team was coming to Kansas City and they were looking for entries. All you had to do was make a short video of your space in need and send it in. So, I busted out the iPhone shot some down and dirty footage of my sad basement office space, cut it together, sent it in and thought “That’ll be the end of that.” Much to my surprise, we made the finalists for the area, and to my surprise again, we are one of the two chosen. Today, the team arrived to shoot video, check out the space, and plan out what they are going to do with the space.

This post is not about the makeover though. It is about how IKEA continues to take excellent advantage of digital media as a marketing tool for the brand.

HomepageIf you go out and look at the Home Tour site, you see a polished website that leverages video, a blog, social media, product placement, and tips to extend the IKEA brand. With each short video, product that is used in the redesign is featured and linked back the IKEA page where the product lives. The Pinterest section leads back the dedicated Pinterest board where recipients have posted their images as well as the team, and there are hooks to related boards, all of which drives back to product and enforcing the IKEA brand. The design blog takes you to a curated section with short right ups and videos from the Home Tour teams progress. And then there are the videos.

Video is the fast growing consumed media on the web, your phone, and in other digital spaces. It has rapidly taken over because of its ability to tell a story in a short digestible bite, and the ability to link back to longer form content if needed. In addition, with prices on gear falling, the availability of high end editing software, a DIY maker movement, and the ease of sharing content, it is possible for a skeleton crew to put together  a solid bit of video work that has tremendous impact. The crew at my house today consisted of 5 people. 2 of them were producing the video. This is the same crew on every makeover, doing each shoot. They have a limited budget, and tie frame, but they are creating solid work with definite reach and penetration for the IKEA brand, which brings me back to the fact that IKEA gets digital marketing better than most. I’ve posted a number of articles on what I KEA is doing in the digital space and this is just one more.

To date the team has produced 203 video segments according to the numbering on the site. Pretty impressive when you think about it. 203 videos that average 3 minutes in length. 203 videos that show the problem, the fix, and then go through and talk about the IKEA product used. Think of it as a long form commercial that is less about in your face selling, and more about how IKEA helps you solve a problem.

That is a winning marketing solution and another winner from IKEA’s marketing division.

Who Wants Some Free Electricity?

This is a pretty interesting concept from IKEA’s Space 10 Lab. Think about all the wasted heat in your home from things like appliances, and solar gain. Imagine if you could take that energy and convert it to green electricity for tasks like charging your phone.

Table 1

That is the clever idea behind the Heat Harvest concept designed by Sergey Komardenkov and Vihanga Gore. Komardenkov and Gore are students from the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction and during a two week workshop at IKEA’s Space10 innovation lab they came up with this concept and designed it. Heat Harvest is a concept for a device that can be used either as a stand alone object or be integrated into household items, such as a table, in order to capture wasted heat from our everyday objects and our surroundings and turn it into free, green electricity that can be reused at home. Pretty smart right?

By exploiting basic physics, and putting to use the fact that temperature differences between two surfaces can generate electricity Heat Harvest works. It captures that wasted energy and converts it into a clean energy source. By coupling it with recent developments in nanotechnology it is possible to make the conversion of heat to electricity more efficient than ever. If IKEA actually brings this to market, I’d snap one up in a heartbeat just to get rid of all the power vampires I have charging phones and tablets in my house.

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IKEA Virtual Weddings.

OK this is just absolutely brilliant. Thanks to Swedish agency Akestam Holst you can now have a virtual wedding courtesy of IKEA. The new “Wedding Online” is a service where users can choose from a variety of locations, that have been decorated with IKEA products. Designed to showcase the latest and greatest trends from IKEA, the service works by having you connect via Facebook, and then live stream the event to your friends and family. The wedding is recorded and stored online so you can relive the memories again and again. This is absolutely brilliant, and pretty hilarious at the same time. Part of me wants to think this is a joke, but based on some of the amazing promotional stuff IKEA has been doing on the web and in social media lately, I’m pretty sure it’s not.

IKEA’s “BookBook”, Better Than an iPhone.

With IKEA opening in Kansas City later this week, the city is getting blanketed with catalogs. Practically everyone I know has received one in their mailbox in the last two weeks. With the iPhone 6 dropping in about two weeks IKEA has upstaged Apple with a pretty fun spoof on the classic Apple product ad with a new video “Experience the power of a bookbook™”, Created by BBH. This is so spot on to the Apple look and feel for branding and product promotion, and IKEA / BBH simply nail it with a good dose of humor thrown in.