Is it an IKEA opening or a rock concert?

Posted by: Reena Jana on June 16, 2008

So the new IKEA store Brooklyn officially opens two days from now, on Wednesday June 18, but as of 11 AM today, Monday June 16, there were already 18 people waiting in line with sleeping bags. Yes, they are planning on camping out. (Does IKEA make sleeping bags, by the way?!)

Sure, IKEA is a popular store. But it’s safe to say that one reason for the enthusiasm is the fact that the first 35 people in line will get a free couch (too bad they can’t sleep on them before the store opens). The next 100 get a free armchair. And the first 100 kids (separate from the adults waiting for the furniture) get a toy.

Anyone having flashbacks to the iPhone mania last year outside the Apple stores?

IKEA's line is clearly driven by the company's incentives to get shoppers to exercise the same sort of cult-y excitement that once was seen only when tickets for rock concerts first went on sale. Now that sort of excitement is seen for brands, not bands. Last year, everyone was wondering how to mimic Apple and its lines outside its stores. Before that, it was how to mimic the fan queues for the new Xboxes in late 2005. Maybe IKEA has figured out how to have the sort of cult-y brand that usually is only found in the tech sector.

But what is particularly interesting is how the IKEA lines differ from last year's iPhone lines. Last year, people could ostensibly afford a $500 phone. This year, with the economy gloomy, they're camping out for free furniture at a store known for its inexpensive goods.

But what both IKEA and Apple share is, of course, their reputations for simple, appealing design. In the case of IKEA, is that what's driving the brand loyalty? Or is it simply the low prices? Would love to hear your opinions.

Reader Comments

Colleen Jeske

June 16, 2008 3:20 PM

Interesting post about the IKEA opening. I see their reputation for trustworthy simplicity as the driver for brand loyalty.

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asutosh kar

June 17, 2008 12:38 AM

people like to see and use things what are honest in its look, function and approach. products that do what they are supposed to do with no extra effort or air to them... i think apple and ikea's products embrace this thought to core of its belief.

InnovateOrPerish

June 17, 2008 3:09 AM

IKEA & Apple have two things going for them...they are cool & useful..check this out for more..
http://innodesk.blogspot.com/2008/06/rule-of-two-product-design-heuristics.html

Thanks!

uhh

June 17, 2008 10:42 AM

what planet are you from.

IKEA sells cheap JUNK.

Apple sells high end consumer electronic products.

InnovateOrPerish

June 17, 2008 2:07 PM

Uhh: IKEA believes in a design led experience which is reflected in their products / packaging / stores / cafeteria & so does Apple.

The common thread is that both Apple & IKEA get the design idea, their pricing strategy & target market segmentation is irrelevant for their offerings / experience to be considered cool & useful.

Thanks!

Dumbiste

June 17, 2008 2:39 PM

Uhh, like you read my mind... IKEA sells cheap, flimsy chic. It works if you are a student but not if you want something to last...

BelowTheRadar

June 18, 2008 5:40 PM

Dumbiste and Uhh, you don't have your facts straight. You get what you pay for. I shopped around for a mattress, and got IKEA's top of the line for HALF the price of the Sealy I used to own, and the quality is better (my bad back swears to it). Sure IKEA also has a mattress for $99, but I am not going to buy that and expect it to last 20 years. Same thing goes for the leather sofa I bought at the Elizabeth store over 10 years ago, it is still in perfect condition. If you check your facts, you won't find better quality at their prices. Some of the stuff even has 10 and 25 year warranties.

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What comes next? The Bloomberg Businessweek Innovation and Design blog chronicles new tools for creativity and collaboration, innovation case studies in both the corporate and social sectors, and the new ideas that have the power to change the way things have always been done.

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