Literally, it was love at first sight when I discover the Sweden company: IKEA. To be honest, I truly admire the concept so much that I even thought about working there because of my interests for design and manufacture, but…. what does IKEA has that makes a simple furniture store so unique?
The Sweden company recently opened its doors to the Mexican market, and they definitely received an amazing response. You want to know why? Here are my thoughts about what I personally think it’s their successful strategy:
Stick to the business’ core!
The more I practice to identify or develop the core, I can tell is one of the top elements needed to find the direction you’d like to follow with your business. It’s important to be precise, but at the same time creativity matters to state a difference among the value propositions from the competitors. The core helps to stay focused by satisfying what you promised to your customer, and let you have a clear vision of the growth area for the future. In this case, IKEA innovates with its core strength in mind, offering something appealing to everyone at a low price, while maintaining good quality. It saves on costs through transportation and assembly with its flat packaging.
Innovation management in the hole company!
Every single person has the power to innovate. How bad would it be shutting off the microphone from the ones who aren’t directly part of the innovation team? In my opinion, companies should always be open to hear new ideas from employees, customers, suppliers, partners, or any other source. Seriously consider every idea, no matter where it comes from. You never know which seed will turn into the biggest tree.
There are some activities that make me feel that they really appreciate the innovation processes. The first one is that they even let the customers watch the prototypes being test while shopping. I’ve seen glass cabins with a mannequin sitting up and down in one of their sofas to assess the number of times it would take to fracture. The second one, is that they value the creativity from their employees. The product tags have written down the designer’s name to shout out their corresponding credit.
Daring to do things differently!
“To get different results, you must do things differently”
IKEA is a leader in the furniture industry since they dared to make the things different. As you can see, their value proposition starts with their ability to offer low cost furniture solving one of their customers’ pain points: delivery. With their flat packaging, the problem was fixed and perceived by the market. Additionally, they develop an application to ease the selection process by using augmented reality to visualize the wide variety of options with your own smartphone. Definitely, a new manner to convince the customers to buy their products, caused positive outcomes reflected on their sales. They achieve it by experimenting new ways to facilitate the online experience.
Once again, remember to hear your customer pains so you can come up with value added solutions. IKEA is a great case study to understand that innovation isn’t necessarily on the product… the business model canvas has some other blocks where to shoot up your creativeness!