The Sounds of IKEA

During a trip to IKEA for a new office desk, I felt nostalgic as I made way through the DIY furniture maze. IKEA was playing all the classics of the 80s – from Banarama to Duran Duran. That realization made me think – are they doing this on purpose? Or is the store manager a big fan of The Breakfast Club?

Feel Good Music

Nostalgia is critical for a retailer promoting “feel-good” vibes aimed at a target generation. Namely, the generation that likely spends the most dollars at IKEA.

IKEA understands that to get people to buy DIY furniture sets, they first must trigger positive emotion in customers – and what better way than to let the soothing sounds of 80s play in the background while 40 – 55 population pick out a new kitchen.

I remember at the end of last year, IKEA introduced a retro-line of products, or rather, re-introduced products they had offered from the 1950s-70s. Remember that orange and black shag rug that your parents had when you were a kid? Well its back.

Target Customers

Looking into IKEA’s history with things retro and nostalgic, I found that targeting generational demographics, such as baby boomers, Gen-Xers or millenials, is a marketing strategy that IKEA has used before.

For instance, last year IKEA produced a series of YouTube videos that were a mix of a sitcom and a reality TV series featuring a young family just starting out, aimed at millenials.

Another great example is IKEA’s “Experience the power of a bookbook”. This satirical ad is targeted towards a demographic who are aware of Apple’s marketing style, and who still appreciate a good ol’ fashioned catalog.

Sticky stores

Drawing customers in and keeping them in is something that IKEA specializes in – from the nostalgic store soundtrack, to the ingenious marketing campaigns. Lets not forget the ridiculously fair-priced Swedish meatballs, all of which make you wonder why you would ever leave.

Making you stick around is a science for IKEA. Not only is IKEA a master of triggering emotion in its target age demographics, they have even designed their stores so that at every turn you get lost in more DIY awesomeness. Enjoy your new coffee table.

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Nick Seebruch

I am an External writer at ShoutEx. My interest lie in marketing, communications and journalism

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