Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Ikea’s “Creative” Names Baffle Consumers

Ikea’s “creative” names baffle consumers

It’s a cinch that Ikea furniture and furnishings are a hit with Americans, especially Millennials, who prefer to save a little and assemble their Hemnes themselves. But that doesn’t mean the Swedish import hasn’t been subject to some good-natured ribbing over their easy to pronounce but otherwise incomprehensible -- at least to Americans -- names. Knowing how these things work, Ikea is using this quirk in their favor.

Ikea might get the last laugh. In an effort to match wits and get some marketing mileage out of the effort, Ikea has apparently renamed several products after commonly searched questions on Google, specifically relationship questions that may be asked by their ideal target market.
CNN recently listed a few of these in a CNN London article. Examples included the “Lonset” double bed, now christened, “How to have a happy relationship.” There was the “Luns” magnetic chalkboard, now named “He can’t say he loves me.”

You may not find these items on the main Ikea website. But you will find them on a new site dubbed “Ikea Retail Therapy,” which includes other products with names like: “my dad is allergic to furry animals” (toy dog), “my partner snores” (day bed), “he doesn’t text back” plug in USB charger, and the every popular “my family doesn’t respect me (a queen costume).

The idea behind the new monikers are to combine Ikea products with “common everyday dilemmas,” so says Akestam Holst, the Swedish creative agency who sold the campaign to Ikea. The idea is simple, really. When someone types those phrases into a search engine, one of the responses will be an Ikea product. Amused, or at least curious, the customer is then meant to click on the link, where they will be taken to the product on Ikea’s website.

Whether or not they buy, you can bet every click will elicit a story the clicker will likely tell to at least one friend, probably more. And the shareable “sticky” factor of this concept … possibly limitless. There’s no doubt that right now, at this minute, someone is sharing a laugh about this with their friends … or they are suggesting, seriously or otherwise, a specific product to a friend or family member.

Lesson: sometimes the silliest, out of the box ideas can create great messaging opportunities. When you can grab attention, capture imagination and compel action, you know you’ve found a winning formula.

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of the New York based public relations firm 5WPR: one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States.

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