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'Make Room For Life' IKEA's Kickoff Campaign for 2018


The campaign theme, 'Make Room For Life', speaks to the human desire to connect by finding inspiration from peers and experts around how to live better. 

Region APAC
Practices Consumer Marketing

The Challenge

Since entering the China market in 1998, IKEA has successfully established itself as the go-to provider of affordable home furnishings. The company plans to open 40 stores in fast-growing China by 2020, yet it risked being seen as just another retailer. Marketing and communications at the iconic company is globally aligned around home furnishing solutions each year, yet it's getting difficult to excite Chinese consumers who are demanding more relevance from brands. How can IKEA convince Chinese consumers that the brand has their interests at heart?

Unlike previous launches that relied on media to convey these messages, IKEA took the bold step to engage influencers and consumers directly in a series of TedX-style talks and hands-on, creative workshops using IKEA's home furnishings. By deviating from the traditional approach where IKEA's in-house designers presented a solution, consumers could witness a stronger display of innovation and inspiration from design fanatics. These elements enabled us to appeal to a wider audience and generated a wealth of content that captured the imagination of Chinese consumers.

The Solution

In China, every August IKEA would have national kick off for new financial year. 'Make Room For Life' was confirmed as theme of FY18. IKEA zoomed in LIVING ROOM as the core space at home to interpret the theme. For the first time, the launch event was not only limited to media, but industry experts, opinion leaders and consumers also were invited to participate. More important, the event introduced new approaches to enrich the product display and consumer interaction in order to better deliver the theme and core value of the product.

IKEA positions itself as an “enablers” in the lives of people. It works to understand their life’s frustration and achievements to figure out how it can play a more helpful role in their lives.

Rising incomes and economic prosperity have made Chinese consumers more confident about their spending. Gone are the days of looking for the lowest-price item or latest gimmick. For the some 350 million in the Chinese middle-class, factors such as self- actualization, fulfilling experiences, sustainability, and social responsibility are driving new consumption behaviors.

Chinese consumers are more sophisticated; they are influenced by social media, where reviews and experiences of different brands are widely shared. Brands endorsed by opinion leaders are particularly influential. The Chinese are savvy shoppers who look for value and are loyal to certain brands. They are especially drawn to brands that allow them to enhance who they really are, and experiment and express themselves.

Armed with the insight that consumers seek to enhance their quality of life through meaningful and relevant experiences, IKEA invited consumers to engage in a dialogue about things that matter in life through an omni-channel campaign that highlighted the living room -- the hardest- working room in the home.

The Results

Generated 731 media clippings with AVE RMB 23,748,072. More than 26% of clippings were original social media posts. Exceeded 1,544,500 social media impressions 

Over 752,000 consumers received messages to join the invitation-only event and 123,989 consumers (16.5%) registered online. All 10,000 tickets were issued and booked within 4 days. Added an additional 1,000 tickets were taken within 24 hours. Hordes of people arrived to get tickets at the door but were turned away due to safety considerations. From onsite surveys, 95.6% of participating consumers were inspired with new ideas after attending the event. Consumers scored the event 4.32 out of 5 in terms of meeting expectations or better. Influencers/KOLs scored the event 4.75 out of 5. The program achieved 1 billion impressions from all activities. 

The event triggered purchasing behavior. 24% of 1730 identified attendee family members purchased items, spending on average RMB1,266 in-store.

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