How Ikea Fits Local Tastes in its Designs Globally

It's a well known fact that you have to tailor your product/service according to your target audience. Same goes for the presentations. If you have a great story to tell but you haven't considered the audience then message will be less effective.

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Here's a story where IKEA tailored its products and services as per taste of their audience. 

IKEA opened a long-awaited store in India recently and everyone has been talking about it. While from the outside it looks like a chain store, the interior has been ‘customized’ to appeal to local tastes and cultural differences.

 
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For those who don’t know, this is actually a strategy which this Swedish megacorp has been using around the world. This strategy states that while the general idea of the business and most products remain the same, each region gets tailored according to the cultural differences. And rightly so, because a consumer in America might have different needs than one in India. Because of this ingenious strategy, IKEA is thriving in 30 markets as of now.

 
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How does the company tailor its stores according to each different culture? It sends its representatives on an actual market research which involves going from home to home, understanding the needs, shopping styles and affordability of the consumers.

Here are some of the ways how IKEA has managed to keep its popular shopping experience intact without compromising the brand identity. 

1.    For the India stores, designers have added risers to the furniture keeping in view how Indian families tend to wash the floors with water.

2.    In China, IKEA stores have displays on the balconies to make it more culturally relevant as balconies are common in Chinese houses.

 
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3.    Just as people from around the world use their living spaces differently, IKEA keeps that in mind while designing beds or displays of bedroom. For example, the Indian store displays a small bed in the master bedroom as there is a trend of younger children sleeping with their parents in the room.

Similarly, IKEA launched a ‘super single’ sized bed in Korea keeping in view how it will optimize small bedrooms common in the country.

4.    Even the menu in IKEA cafeteria gets tailored according to cultural differences. For example, the new Indian store has vegetarian meatballs option along with the trademark Swedish meatballs.

 
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5.    Inventory of the kitchen is also adjusted according to the cultural needs. Cutlery in the Indian store have more spoons than knives as spoons are more commonly used. Similarly, the Chinese store features far more chopsticks and rice cookers than any other store.

Inspiration: How Ikea quietly tweaks its design around the world