Marketing Genius – A Case Study on Ikea’s Marketing Strategies

Nov 24, 2023

Marketing Genius – A Case Study on Ikea’s Marketing Strategies

IKEA, the Swedish furniture giant, has completely changed how we buy furniture. For over seven decades, they’ve been committed to making stylish and functional home goods everyone can afford. Their unique approach to shopping has made them a global favorite, showing that good home decor doesn’t have to be exclusive. IKEA’s journey is a story of bringing quality and style to everyday homes, making furniture shopping an experience that’s accessible and enjoyable for everyone. Ikea has a unique way of marketing and attracting consumers to the store and getting them to buy their products. 

Beyond its physical stores and restaurants which are very recent strategies, IKEA stormed the market with its innovative approach to shopping with its first-ever AR-supported app. This technological marvel elevated customer experience by allowing users to virtually place furniture in their homes in the comfort of their homes. This innovation not only provided a realistic preview before making a purchase but also became the talk of the town. Furthermore, this interactive tool enhances the online shopping experience as it streamlines the decision-making process, making shopping at IKEA a seamless blend of digital and physical exploration.


Cracking the Code: Ikea’s Renowned Psychology of Selling

1. The Ikea Effect:
Have you ever assembled a piece of IKEA furniture and felt an inexplicable sense of pride and attachment? That’s exactly what the IKEA Effect is all about – the psychological phenomenon where people place a higher value on products they create independently from a flat pack bought at Ikea. By turning customers into co-creators, IKEA taps into our emotional connection with a supreme sense of belongingness. This intentional involvement turns each piece of furniture into more than just an item in your home; it becomes a reflection of your efforts and creativity, creating a lasting connection between you and the brand. 

2. The Guren Effect (The smart store layout):
Picture yourself wandering through the showroom, seamlessly transitioning from one perfectly staged room to another. This is the Guren Effect at play – The meticulously planned store layout serves to captivate customers and enhance exploration, which can occasionally lead to a delightful diversion from the primary shopping agenda. The strategic layout of the store encourages a continuous flow of customers, leading them from one section to the next without feeling forced. It’s a subtle dance orchestrated by IKEA where customers are looking and impulsivity buying products.

3. Bulla Bulla Merchandise and Open Wallet:
IKEA employs the “Bulla Bulla” merchandising strategy as a savvy tactic to stimulate impulse purchases and encourage customer spending. This approach strategically presents a multitude of affordably priced items in a deliberately disordered or eclectic arrangement, fostering the perception of abundance and value. By capitalizing on the psychological inclination of consumers to associate volume and informality with cost-effectiveness, the strategy effectively triggers impromptu purchases, leveraging the perception of a great deal.

IKEA’s “Open Wallets” strategy strategically places small, affordable items near checkout counters, encouraging last-minute impulse buys. These budget-friendly additions make it easy for customers to enhance their shopping experience at a reasonable cost. It’s a subtle yet effective way to boost spending, turning the checkout zone into a curated space for delightful, low-cost discoveries.

4. The Scarcity effect:
The exact opposite of the bulla bulla merchandising, IKEA also leverages the demand-supply game. The power of limited availability is captivating to one and all. The Scarcity Effect is evident in IKEA’s limited-edition collections and the iconic ‘Last Chance to Buy’ signs. By suggesting that certain items are in short supply, IKEA triggers a fear of missing out, compelling customers to make impulsive purchases before the opportunity slips away.

5. The Inhouse Ikea Restaurant:
Ikea’s Restaurant is very famous for its range as well as amazing food. They serve all items in IKEA kitchen wear making it a use-and-buy tactic for their kitchen cutlery products. That’s not it, you sit on an Ikea chair, place your plates on an Ikea table and also experience the lounge feeling by sipping a cup of hot brewing coffee on a soft comfortable Ikea sofa.

This is the ideal way to allow customers to experience premium quality furniture before they make a purchase. IKEA strategically utilizes its restaurants to not only satiate hunger but also to prolong customers’ stay, thereby increasing the likelihood of impulse purchases. 


“This might sound odd, but it’s almost something we didn’t notice,” said Michael La Cour, IKEA Food’s Managing Director to Fast Company last year. In 2016, IKEA made $36.5 billion in revenue and the sale of food got lost in such a big number. In 2017, IKEA made $42.2 billion in revenue. In fact, 30% of IKEA’s customers visited their shops just to eat, they suddenly discovered.
(information source: )

Ikea also is very famous for its Swedish meatballs and they sold approximately a 1billion meatballs in 2022. 
(information source:


Finishing the Marketing Maze Run

In the end, shopping at IKEA isn’t just about buying furniture; it’s a curated adventure through the realms of design, affordability, and psychological intrigue. The Guren Effect guides your steps, Bulla Bulla merchandise opens your wallet, the Scarcity Effect fuels urgency, and the Ikea Effect forges a lasting connection. So, the next time you find yourself lost in the maze of Ikea, remember – it’s not just about the furniture; it’s about the artful science of selling that makes the journey unforgettable.

Read about iPhone’s “Shot on iPhone” amazing campaign and many more interesting blogs on iDigitize.



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