IKEA's quirky product names

Let's take a look at IKEA's website and try to see if you can spot something unusual :


What's with those names right?

IKEA is notorious for its unreadable product names which at times can get on the nerves of its customers.


The naming system was created by IKEA's founder, Ingvar Kamprad, who suffered from dyslexia and had trouble remembering the order of the numbers in item codes. By swapping the numbers for names it was easier for Ingvar to remember each item resulting in fewer mistakes while filling out forms.


Each product is named after Swedish towns and villages, humans, and other applicable Swedish words.

But that's not all.

Each category of products is assigned a specific type of name.


For example, outdoor furniture is named after the Scandinavian islands. Sofas and dining tables are given names of Swedish places. Bathroom items are given names of Swedish water bodies.


If you are from Sweden you are likely to understand these names and this helps to build a connection with the products as you shop.


Consider buying a table from Amazon.

It would be listed as "Lifetime Height Adjustable Craft Camping and Utility Folding Table, 4 ft, 4'/48 x 24, White Granite".

On the other hand, a table at IKEA would be named after a small village in Sweden - "Bjursta".


Customers are able to form a bond with the products. These unique names can trigger an emotion within shoppers, unlike a name that just describes the product.

These days most of us head to the internet for solutions to our problems. To prove IKEA can be part of the solution they teamed with a Swedish agency, Åkestam Holst, and launched the campaign "Retail Therapy"


IKEA knew that the younger generation isn't watching TV or reading newspapers like the previous generations. The younger audience is online and IKEA wanted to capitalize on this.


The idea was to rename products after the most Googled relationship problems!


When you Googled your problem you found an IKEA product with the exact same name. For example, when you Googled - "How to have a happy relationship?", the first link would be one to IKEA's website showing you a

double bed.


Here are some very interesting results that popped when people Googled their problems:







Success was instant and impressive. IKEA Retail Therapy was seen by 1.7 million Swedes (out of a total population of 9.5 million) – but more importantly, the perception of IKEA’s products changed. The campaign eventually garnered a global media reach of 175 million, with 100,000 positive shares on social media and it also increased sales of some of the items featured by more than 25%.


Changing product names can seem inconsequential to many but it is a crucial aspect in providing the overall customer experience. Building a small attachment between the customer and the product/business can go a long way.



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