Ikea’s prevailing marketing strategy once entered



We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

1. Brand Vision in Foreign Country

I ) Foreign Marketing Strategy

2. Organizational Analysis

I ) The ‘Ikea Way

two ) Russian Consumer Market: Ebbs and Flows

three ) SWOT Analysis

3. Future Selling Schemes

I ) The ‘Half and Half’ doctrine

two ) Market Driving: An Industry Pioneer




Ikea stands as the world’s largest retail place trappings mercantile establishment. Ikea was founded as and remains a private company whose operations are franchise-based and controlled by Inter Ikea, based in the Netherlands ( Kippenberger 1997 ) . The company has enjoyed rapid growing through the 1990s and into the 21stcentury. For illustration, Kippenberger ( 1997 ) studies that turnover doubled from ?1.39 billion to ?3.3 billion over a 10 twelvemonth period from 1986 to 1996. Employee turnover is farther reported to hold increased by greater than three crease to ~?11.3 billion from 1996 to 2001 ( Arnold 2002 ) . Such figures underline Ikea’s place as a market leader in most every state in which it is established.

Foreign market entry stands as a major pillar within the Ikea concern theoretical account. Statisticss reported in 2002 indicate that Ikea was established in 31 states consisting 160 shops ( Arnold 2002 ) , while Baraldi and Waluszewski ( 2005 ) study Ikea retains some 65,000 employees. Ikea concern doctrine holds that company merchandise lines may be adapted and sold in local markets across the Earth depending on specific civilization and life style of a given market base. One peculiar illustration – Ikea entry into Russia – stands as a microcosm of foreign entry and constitution scheme.

1. Brand Vision in a Foreign State

Ikea established its first Russian mercantile establishment in Khimki, Moscow, in 2000 ( Case Study 2004 ) . In the undermentioned old ages, it has since established shops in three other locations: Moscow ( December, 2001 ) , St Petersburg ( December 2003 ) and Kazan ( March 2004 ) ( Case Study 2004 ) . The chief end underscoring Ikea constitution within Russia is to transform the retail trappings market so as to further consumer engagement in merchandise specificity ( i.e. design, choice, transport etc ) . Such a selling scheme is derived from Ikea’s overarching subject of planate direction and crystalline operations – the alleged ‘Ikea Way’ . Under this operational theory, direction procedures are governed under an classless model whereby scheme is the merchandise of sidelong determination doing based on expertness.

I ) Foreign Marketing Strategy

– “The indispensable function of trade names is to distinguish a merchandise or service from others in fulfilling a given client need.” – Edvardsson and Enquist ( 2006 )

Pre-establishment, foreign houses may entertain several market incursion options. Five such options are discussed by Goodnow and Kosenko ( 1992 ) : I ) offering merchandises antecedently unsated despite demand, two ) usage of ‘non-traditional’ jobbers, three ) equity joint ventures, four ) usage of domestic retail merchants as gross revenues conduit and V ) direct to consumer selling and gross revenues. Ikea has employed the first and last schemes in its push to Russian constitution.

Marketing scheme one time established can be adopted as assenting to market demands or as beseeching demand from within the market ( Ghuari and Cateora 2006 ) . In footings of the former scheme, production ironss are geared based on widespread market demand. In contrast, the latter scheme involves production ironss that evolve through ongoing company-customer interaction ( see market driver vs. market follower in Market Driving: An Industry Pioneer ) . Foreign market entryway requires an apprehension of several economic and cultural factors: local market demands and consumer behaviour, legal ordinances regulating foreign endeavor entryway, constitution and care and presence of rivals.

Of critical importance is the necessity to clear up selling construct as a theory and as a practical application. Houston ( 1986 ) explores this issue of the selling construct as per managerial scheme towards come ining and capitalising a specific market. It is asserted that a clear differentiation be made between inexplicit apprehension of a market and pure satisfaction of market demand ( Houston 1986 ) . Houston ( 1986 ) defines the selling construct implemented by a company as “a thorough apprehension of possible exchange spouses and their demands and wants…a thorough apprehension of the costs associated with fulfilling those demands and wants, and so planing, bring forthing, and offering merchandises in visible radiation of this understanding.” ( Houston 1986, p. 85 ) . It can be inferred from this construct that a company must non fulfill transparent market demand, but instead implore within a market demand for a merchandise scope ( Houston 1986 ) . The Ikea selling scheme within Russia analogues this statement: merchandises are marketed as per awaited market demands based on known features of Russian consumer life style.

Ikea trade name vision is non a casualty with the entrance of the Russian market. This is chiefly due to managerial foresight refering the adaptability of Ikea merchandises into Russian consumer life style ( McGrath 1992 ) . The nucleus Ikea selling scheme upon entryway into the Russian market was one of market invention. It was reasoned that Ikea could set up a solid foundation within the Russian retail market based on two primary factors: I ) company-induced demand for planetary Ikea scope merchandises based on typical consumer life style and, two ) comparative famine of retail place supplying market rivals. Russian consumer attitude towards value-brand retail furniture can be characterized during Ikea’s early Russian constitution as one of comparative reproach. However, such consumer admonition was interpreted more as a impermanent cultural hurdle instead than a cardinal rejection of Ikea’s merchandise line. Research and experience at the grassroots degree was leveraged against the jobs facing constitution to organize a medium to long term mentality for gross revenues and reinvestment ( i.e. continued enlargement ) . To carry through its selling scheme of rendering the Ikea planetary trade name vision appealing to the mean Russian consumer, Ikea set out to affect the consumer itself and transform the retail market from a degage seller manner to that of one halt shopping.

2. Organizational Analysis

Company organisational analysis is a critical measure in measuring fiscal wellness, growing chances and general public perceptual experience ( i.e. trade name image ) . Ikea organisational analysis is conducted foremost by analyzing its nucleus merchandise lines, consumer markets, cardinal selling scheme and organisational civilization – surmised as the ‘Ikea Way’ . This is followed by an analysis of the Russian market into which Ikea has expanded. Last, a SWOT analysis is conducted so as to mensurate the nucleus Ikea scheme against the Russian market tones.

I ) The ‘Ikea Way

Ikea nucleus merchandise scopes are comprised within the place trappings sector and are varied based on typical, transverse market consumer gustatory sensations and manners. Merchandise scopes are flatly divided into four primary surroundings: I ) Norse, two ) Country, three ) Modern and four ) Young Swede ( Case Study 2004 ) .

The nucleus selling angle involves accommodating Ikea merchandise lines to lifestyle state of affairss of any given market. In consequence, this selling scheme involves two primary pillars non-mutually sole of the other. The first involves prevailing nucleus merchandise lines within a given market so as to fulfill demands – overt, latent or inexplicit – within that market. The 2nd is leveraged on the ability to make solutions for bing defects associated with Russian consumer place life style. Past gross revenues figures and general positive public perceptual experience among established western markets towards Ikea stock list has bolstered scheme of keeping a nucleus merchandise scope irrespective of consumer base.

The Ikea organisational civilization is lateral-based. In this sense, executive direction defers steady stream the duty built-in in running both twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours and enlargement operations. Each ‘coworker’ is fostered as an built-in squad member and respected for value added irrespective of their proportion on a company-wide graduated table. Communication lines are kept changeless so as to keep strategic timelines and advancement of a given undertaking or operation. In the instance of enlargement into Russia, such communicating is apparent. For illustration, in shop meetings – formal and informal – are frequently convened to supervise performance-related figures such as gross revenues marks and general client feedback. Communication besides exists so as to educate local staff targeted to run local operations in a foreign market. This preparation regimen falls in line with the Ikea doctrine ‘learning by doing’ – a scheme whose inexplicit sense involves acknowledging and capitalising upon intangibles of consumer gross revenues.

two ) Russian Consumer Market: Ebbs and Flows

The Russian consumer market landscape poses several differences as compared to that of many western opposite numbers such as the Norse provinces, UK, US and Canada. Ikea is noted to hold completed a comparative famine of market research prior to capture, go forthing such information to be gathered over clip on the land ( Case Study 2004 ) . Three cardinal factors within the Russian market that relate to Ikea public presentation are examined: I ) general market nature, two ) consumer buying power and inclination, three ) competition and external influences ( i.e. authorities ordinance ) .

The Russian market stands as one really much in its capitalist babyhood. Although the autumn of capitalist economy has imbued a greater sense of market freedom, the consumer mentality was found by Ikea to defy demand for place trappings merchandises en masse. For illustration, consumers had traditionally opted for purchases smaller in measure but greater in value. This can be understood to be a merchandise both of low comparative incomes among Russian in-between category, every bit good a deficiency of mercantile establishment merchants offering big merchandise ranges.

Buying power among the Russian consumer market is low comparative to western opposite numbers. As stated within the Case Study ( 2004 ) , mean monthly incomes suffice merely necessitated outgos such as family operating expense ( i.e. rent and nutrient ) . Surplus nest eggs are frequently put towards autos or basic amusement ( i.e. telecasting, cyberspace ) . In footings of place trappings, basic design and equiping have dominated the landscape, which frequently features multi-generation households busying individual flats ( Case Study, twelvemonth ) .

There are few beginnings of competition within the Russian place supplying market. The prevailing ground underlying this impression is that Ikea’s entryway to the Russian market in 1998 represented the first major transnational enlargement into Russia among household consumer sellers. Since its constitution, Ikea has increased market portion and steadfastly imbedded its trade name image within consumer consciousness to snub most possible rivals. The primary external factor associated with Ikea’s Russian enterprise is authorities ordinance. Post-communist epoch capitalist economy in Russia has struggled to happen true unfastened market freedoms. Regulation associated with ownership rights – in peculiar those of belongings – remains cloudy. It is hence of critical importance that Ikea advance operations transparence to guarantee land rights issued by local governments remain steadfast in enlargement programs.

three ) SWOT Analysis


Four chief strengths derived from the Ikea concern theoretical account are outlined below:

1 ) Merchandise scope diverseness

Ikea has crafted a merchandise scope diverse plenty to suit most any family within any civilization. Merchandises are designed with a blend of lushness and comfort. Possibly most effectual from a gross revenues position in footings of merchandise scope involves an inexplicit relationship between each merchandise: theme relatedness additions frequence of multi-item purchases.

2 ) Value-Brand Pricing

The Ikea merchandise scope is designed to a in-between income mark market, approximately aged 25-49 ( Anonymous 1995 ) . As the in-between income market frequently comprises a bulk, Ikea has enabled itself to capture the largest consumer base wherever established. Other factors coalesce to stress value-brand pricing. For illustration, Ikea has designed its shops in a non-exclusive manner, marked by the gap of its first ‘megamall’ in Moscow ( Case Study 2004 ) .

3 ) Lateral Organizational Culture

The non-hierarchical company organisational model Fosters democratic concern procedures. That strategy-related determinations are frequently direct or indirect merchandises of local expertness ( i.e. shop directors, section staff ) contributes to a general high employee morale. For illustration, on the occupation preparation Sessionss are frequently convened to equalise operations and cultural cognition of local recruited staff ( Sandelans 1997 ) .

4 ) Adaptability

Ikea has the ability to accommodate to local markets. As stated in the Case Study, success within Russia is predicated on the ability to “transfer Ikea’s scope into relevant solutions” ( Case Study 2004 ) . This scheme is manifest in shop set ups. In order to provide to Russian life style, shop births mirror dimensions of typical Russian place infinites, therefore making an atmosphere conducive to direct physical demands of a consumer ( Rowley and Slack 2003 ) .


Few pure failings are identified with the Ikea concern theoretical account in Russia. Potential weaknesses involve stock list overextension and hard currency flow decrease ( see Threats ) .


Opportunities are concentrated in future Russian enlargement. As established in four city locations at present, Ikea has the capacity to set up in other Russian metropoliss. Besides, amalgamations could go a possibility if the trappings industry accrues farther participants, showing an chance for Ikea to broaden merchandise scope and consolidate the industry.


Menaces posed to the Ikea Russian theoretical account Centre upon stock list direction and possible hard currency flow jobs. In the instance of the former, stock list could go overladen or down due to falling consumer demand or supply concatenation break, severally. In the instance of the latter, costs associated with high operating expense, land revenue enhancement additions ( political instability ) and/or falling demand could take to cut down hard currency flow.

3. Future Selling Schemes

Future selling schemes employed by Ikea are parlayed from its bing strengths. Brand image is identified as the preeminent factor in keeping future success in foreign markets such as Russia. Two primary countries of the Ikea concern theoretical account are discussed as primary purchase for keeping trade name image: I ) the ‘half and half’ doctrine and two ) the ability to stay a market driver.

I ) The ‘Half and Half’ Philosophy

It is good documented among Ikea direction, trade diaries and put imperativeness that the Ikea concern theoretical account is consumer-driven. Merchandises are kept price-stable despite possible and realized volatile conditions – for illustration via foreign market enlargement or macroeconomic forces such as currency reappraisals and involvement rate alterations – so as to avoid consumer disaffection based on income degree and discretional disbursement budgets. This ability to maintain monetary values comparatively changeless amidst hesitating economic conditions is based upon a comparative low cost supply concatenation, stock list and overhead direction. The consequence of monetary value consistence is a retaining of mark markets and, possibly from double uping the consequence, a sense of trueness implicitly implored within such a consumer base.

Wikstrom ( 1996 ) characterizes this customer-based theoretical account as one component of ‘coproduction’ . Coproduction refers to common production elements in the signifier of company and consumer working to accomplish common value. In order to exemplify coproduction-based value-added effects, it is helpful to depict a typical production concatenation. A standard production concatenation for a company consists of four consecutive stages:

  • Research and Development
  • Production
  • Selling
  • Gross saless and Consumption

It should besides be noted that within this production concatenation theoretical account there exist feedback cringles between the concluding ( ingestion ) and each old stage ( development, production and selling ) so as to do synergistic the procedure. The theoretical consequence of such interaction is a system greater than the amount of its parts. Wikstrom ( 1996 ) emphasizes that value creative activity is driven for the consumer and facilitated via end-point feedback.

Coproduction involves interaction between each production concatenation stage. It is argued that under this theoretical account the consumer is a non-material production input due to leverage with which they are sceptered via common planning engineerings. For illustration, Ikea allows and so encourages consumers to lend specific thoughts and demands sing a possible point of purchase. Personalized web characteristics, in-store computing machines and gross revenues staff audience combine to ease this synergistic planning procedure. Wikstrom ( 1996 ) asserts that under the coproduction theoretical account, production ironss no longer remain consecutive because each stage convergences and is hence in changeless interaction. In this sense, the displacement in production concatenation creates a value creative activity system driven non for, but instead by the consumer ( Wikstrom 1996 ) .

Logic underpinning synergistic planning is manifold. For illustration, the procedure maximizes certainty of client satisfaction. Besides, local supply ironss can be managed with greater efficiency based on concrete orders. Possibly most of import in the sense of continuing the Ikea consumer-friendly theoretical account, synergistic planning dispels impression of alleged ‘big business’ – that of possible company neutrality in specific consumer demands in the face of profit-driven vehicles such as economic systems of graduated table ( Johnson and Selnes 2004 ) .

The ability to keep the ‘half and half’ doctrine of company-consumer relationship is indispensable in the future service-based success of Ikea. This scheme capitalizes on an chance shaped around a consumer organic structure permeable to friendly selling. The scheme can besides be analyzed from a non-revenue position in that future audience and transparence with the media, every bit good as local and national policy shapers decreases chance of legal ejaculation of Ikea operations.

two ) Market Driving: An Industry Pioneer

It is deserving observing the nature of Ikea’s concern theoretical account in footings of analysing selling schemes both in domestic and foreign markets. Such concern theoretical account analysis is besides of import because it acts as a pretence for marketing schemes that differ from classical theory.

Players within any industry may be loosely classified as market followings or market drivers ( Jaworskiet Al. 2000, Kippenberger 1998 ) . The huge bulk of companies are comprised within the former ranks, while a choice few distinguish themselves as portion of the latter. The former bulk exists because of two primary factors: I ) an progressively unfavourable risk-reward circumstance over clip and, two ) a big inactiveness sing inspection and repair in company aspects such as merchandise scope, supply concatenation direction, selling scheme and aim consumer base. The latter minority exists chiefly because of a airy laminitis ( s ) and a impulsive force to redefine a market position quo, frequently in the face of opposing market research.

This issue of market drive is one associated with company scheme and is cardinal to a concern doctrine. In an article, Kippenberger ( 2000 ) reviews a return on market invention written jointly by Kumar, Scheer and Kotler ( 2000 ) . The reappraisal concentrates on how and why certain concern programs – engineered by astute and goaded visionaries – have been successful in disputing market norms, therefore redefining industries. Companies such as Ikea, Nike, FedEx and Microsoft are described as innovators within their several industries based on schemes that are, in many ways, antithetic to those industry rivals. The writers assert six primary grounds that have enabled such companies to drive markets.

  • Following of a vision, non research
  • Redress industry cleavage
  • Value-driven merchandise pricing
  • Supply and distribution concatenation polish
  • Word of oral cavity advertisement – alleged ‘buzz’ consequence
  • Ongoing client support ( i.e. synergistic company-consumer design – alleged ‘coproduction’ ) ( Day 1994, Drew and Smith 1995, Kippenberger 2000 )

In the context of Ikea, each market driving standards is satisfied under the concern theoretical account. For illustration, Ikea bases many enlargement determinations non merely on outsourced research, but on prospective adaptability into the given market. In the instance of enlargement into Russia, it was found initial consumer sentiment to value-driven furniture tended towards upbraid given an all equal, ‘pay for what you get’ mindset. In add-on to neglecting consumer sentiment, Ikea was beleaguered amidst a tanked Russian economic system mired in a post-communist epoch recession. The response to such forces evolved through many company channels ( i.e. in-store, store-management meetings ) over several old ages. It was finally reasoned that Ikea merchandises and several inexplicit demand among Russian consumers would get the better of impermanent hurdlings posed during initial constitution.

Ikea’s predominating selling scheme in Russia is one based on the single consumer. Emphasis is placed on lighting consumer place and lifestyle demands – recognized or unbeknownst – that can be satisfied via Ikea merchandise ranges on mean household budgets ( Herve and Dagi 1996 ) . This consumer-focused scheme can in several respects be seen as a vanguard of the modern Russian economic system and commercialisation. In blunt contrast to the sole and gentrified nature of the old communist-era socioeconomy, consumers are embraced as the other ‘half’ within Ikea’s core company-consumer doctrine.


Problems associated with initial start-up Russian operations centered upon a comparative low consumer buying power within a scarce retail market. Ikea direction reasoned that it may hold been concluded its nucleus trade name values were at odds with the Russian consumer base. However, ground-level experience has contributed to a selling scheme reformation towards tapping the inward adorning consumer witting.

Ikea is good positioned to keep its present market laterality. Future success will depend on the combination of trade name image care and media transparence. The selling mix created by Ikea of using its nucleus merchandise ranges to Russian consumer life style is advantageous due to its adaptability. Intrastate enlargement and/or possible consolidation now seem probably the following engines of growing.


Anonymous. 1995. The Learning Organization: “Change Proofing” and Strategy. The Journal of Management Development: 14 ( 9 ) : 17-21

Anonymous. Case Study: Ikea Entering Russia ( 2004 )

Arnold S.J. 2002. Lessons Learned From the World’s Best Retailers. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management. 30 ( 11 ) : 562-570

Baraldi E, and A Waluszewski. 2005. Information Technology at IKEA: An “Open Sesame” Solution or Just Another Type of Facility? Journal of Business Research. 58 ( 9 ) : 1251-126

Day G.S. 1994. The Capabilities of Market-Driven Organizations. Journal of Marketing. 58 ( 4 ) : 37-53

Drew S.A.W, and P.A.C Smith. 1995. The New Logistics Management: Transformation Through Organizational Learning. Logistics Information Management. 8 ( 1 ) : 24-33

Edvardsson B, and B Enquist. 2006. Values-based Service Brands: Narratives From Ikea. Managing Service Quality. 16 ( 3 ) : 230-246

Ghauri P, and P Cateora. 2006. International Marketing, 2neodymiumedition. Maidenhead, McGraw Hill.

Goodnow J.D, and R Kosenko. 1992. Schemes for Successful Pentration of The Nipponese Market or How to Beat Japan at It’s Own Game. The Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing. 7 ( 1 ) : 41-50

Herve M, and T.F Dagi. 1996. Harnessing Technology in Global Service Businesses. Long Range Planning. 29 ( 4 ) : 449-461, 437-438

Houston F.S. 1986. The Selling Concept: What It Is and What It Is Not. Journal of Marketing. 50 ( 2 ) : 81-87

Jaworski B, Kohli A.K, and A Sahay. Market-Driven Versus Driving Markets. Journal of The Academy of Marketing Science. 28 ( 1 ) : 45-54

Johnson M.D. , and F Selnes. 2004. Customer Portfolio Management: Toward A Dynamic Theory of Exchange Relationships. Journal of Marketing. 68 ( 2 ) :1

Kippenberger T. 1997. The Story of Ikea. The Antidote. 2 ( 5 )

Kippenberger T. 1998. Detecting Revolutionary Schemes. The Antidote. 3 ( 6 ) : 34-35

Kippenberger T. 2000. How Do Market Driving Companies Compete? The Antidote. 5 ( 5 ) : 12-14

Kuma N, Schee L, and P Kotler. 2000. From Market Driven to Market Driving. European Management Journal. 18 ( 2 ) : 129-142

McGrath A. 1992. The Management of Marketing Productivity. The Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing. 7 ( 4 ) : 49-55

Rowley J, and F Slack. 2003. Kiosks In Retailing: The Quiet Revolution. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management. 31 ( 6 ) : 329-339

Wikstrom S. 1996. The Customer as Co-producer. European Journal of Marketing. 30 ( 4 ) : 6-19