Saturday, June 28, 2008

Universal Brand Experience: IKEA

A lot of what my job is about is standardization - ensuring that a customer's experience is as close to identical (and positive) each and every time the customer encounters the brand. One of the best examples of this consistency is IKEA.

IKEA is global; there are stores all over the world, from the US to the Ukraine to the UAE. And I'll bet that in every single IKEA, there are screaming children, people who flit zig-zag across the aisle from display to display with no rhyme or reason, arguing couples, angry employees, and general mayhem. That was my experience every time I went to the IKEA on Columbus Blvd in Philadelphia, and that was pretty much my experience when I went to IKEA in Edmonton, North London, last Saturday. Of course, the fact that I went to IKEA with the WORST HANGOVER OF MY LIFE didn't exactly help matters.

Two hours and £275 later, I was in a cab with all of my Swedish modular furniture, housewares, rugs, and lamps on the way home. Once I got there, I realized the second part of the universal IKEA brand experience: you may escape the store unscathed, but you still have to put everything together once you get it all home.

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