Blending style with sustainability
IMC 610, Final Project
Early Spring, March 2013
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We make saving energy look good.
Itʼs not just a fancy statement designed to sell products, but the belief behind the whole campaign. Consumers
need to feel good about their purchase decisions and IKEA products can provide that for them. By purchasing
from IKEA, consumers feel like they are making a positive impact on the environment as well as expressing their
The campaign employs the appropriate mix of marketing aspects to best achieve the outlined objectives.
Television and print ads are supplemented by banner advertising on the Internet help raise awareness. Social
media tactics, such as Facebook and Twitter profiles help build the relationship between IKEA and its consumers
by creating a forum encouraging two-way communication.
Public relations also plays a role in helping consumers realize that saving energy can look good and feel good,
too. IKEAʼs sponsorship of Habitat for Humanity enforces that feel-good vibe. The People & Planet blog will keep
consumers in the know of goings-on of all things related to IKEA efforts to better the environment and community.
The campaign wouldnʼt be complete without direct marketing and sales promotion strategies. The direct
marketing ideas aim to create awareness as well as increase sales through direct mailers and coupons. These
tactics will supplement the successful catalog distribution as well as entice new customers to experience IKEA. In-
store promotions, such as a buy-one-get-one free program, will also encourage new customers to shop at IKEA.
Last but not least, an entire overhaul of the IKEA Family program rounds out the campaign by passing on value to
current customers and offering them the incentive to return to IKEA for all of their home furnishing needs.
Environmental responsibility is an increasing theme across the nation and because IKEA has already made great
strides in this area, it makes sense to promote it. It is in IKEAʼs best interest to take advantage of this campaign
and the opportunity it provides.
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Table of Contents
Background Information..................................................................... 4
Target Audience.................................................................................. 7
SWOT Analysis.................................................................................... 8
Marketing Objectives and Strategies.............................................. 10
Integrated Creative Strategy Statement ......................................... 11
Creative Brief..................................................................................... 12
Creative Execution............................................................................ 13
Media Plan ......................................................................................... 15
Public Relations Objectives and Tactics ........................................ 17
Direct Marketing Objectives and Tactics........................................ 18
Sales Promotion Objectives and Tactics........................................ 19
Measurement and Evaluation Plan.................................................. 20
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Since Ingvar Kamprad founded IKEA in 1943, the company has been inspired by innovation and hard work from
day one. The name IKEA is derived from the founderʼs initials (IK), the farm, Elmtaryd (E), and village, Agunnaryd
(A) where he grew up (“The IKEA Concept,” n.d.).
The area where Kamprad was from plays a large role behind the IKEA ideal. The Småland province in Sweden is
not known for its fertile soil, but it is known for its hardworking and frugal people. Kamprad learned at an early age
how to make the most from limited resources, and this ideal still carries the IKEA brand today (“The IKEA
Concept,” n.d.). This concept behind the IKEA brand lends value to the brand and can potentially attract
consumers as well and retain current customers who value hard work and integrity. Consumers today are also
looking for ways to better their lives and the world around them, but are also restricted due to busy schedules and
tight budgets. IKEA strives to create a “better everyday life for the many people” and this isnʼt just about providing
stylish and affordable furnishings, but also to educate and help consumers make smart decisions when it comes
to helping the environment and cutting energy usage and costs.
IKEA started selling furniture in 1948, and published its first catalog in 1951. Flat-packing was introduced in 1956
and has been the foundation of maintaining low prices ever since (“The IKEA Concept,” n.d.). IKEA opened its
first store in 1958 in Älmhult, Sweden and has continued its expansion of more than 330 stores in 40 countries
(“Facts & Figures,” n.d.).
IKEAʼs mission is “to create a better everyday life for the many people.” To support this vision, IKEA strives to
offer a wide range of functional and well-designed furniture and other products at prices low enough for many
people to afford them (“Our business idea,” n.d.). Another part of IKEAʼs mission, although it is not stated as their
business objective, is to be responsible both to the environment and the people in it. Consumers feel strongly
about companies that show an interest in something other than sales. IKEA can leverage its dedication to
sustainability to appeal to new audiences.
Pricing and distribution:
IKEA has 338 stores in 40 countries, as of August 2012. In 2012, there were an estimated 776 million visits to
IKEA stores, 1.1 billion website visits, and 5.7 million IKEA Catalog mobile app downloads (“Facts & Figures”).
The IKEA Concept is to provide low-priced items that help people live a better life at home. The IKEA Concept
determines the way products are designed, built, shipped, sold, and assembled. The goal is to offer a wide-range
of functional and well-designed products that are affordable to the masses (“The IKEA Concept,” n.d.). IKEAʼs
pricing strategy is unique because the design of their products actually begins with the price tag. Once the price
point is established, IKEA designers start creating a quality product to fit that price by considering how to
maximize production, how to efficiently use raw materials and how to apply technical innovations to make the best
possible product. IKEA buys materials in bulk to help keep production costs low, keeps waste at a minimum, and
relies on flat-packaging and self-assembly (“Our low prices,” n.d.).
The IKEA Group has approximately 31 distribution centers in 16 countries, which supply the good to IKEA stores.
IKEA develops and maintains close relationships with its 1,350 suppliers through its 45 trading service offices
scattered throughout 31 countries (“Our low prices,” n.d.). The IKEA Group includes the Swedwood Group, which
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manufactures and distributes about 100 million units of furniture and furniture components per year (“About
IKEA has shown innovation in the design of its product line, as well as its current and past marketing
communications. IKEA is clearly not a company that is afraid to break the mold by using creative ideas to
generate awareness about their brand. Although IKEA does do some work in promoting their passion for people
and the planet, their current marketing efforts seem to mainly focus on design and style. There is a huge
opportunity for IKEA if they decide to better promote their dedication to the people and the planet. The following
paragraphs detail some of IKEAʼs past and current marketing efforts.
In 2011, agencies MEC and Ogilvy & Mather joined forces to increase the amount of money each customer
spends during a visit to IKEA. IKEA typically relied on new store openings to drive sales. MEC and Ogilvy decided
on a mix of television, online, print, and editorial integration for the campaign (Elliott, 2011).
The television ads focused on IKEAʼs range and style of products and how two people with differing styles can
create the perfect room. Print ads were similar, but focused on one style and showed a family or group of people
interacting in that room, giving viewers the chance to picture themselves in the room. Online ads focused on more
expensive items, like sofas. Ogilvy introduced the popular tagline, “Made by (insert name), designed by IKEA” to
persuade the target audience to visualize themselves in the rooms shown in the advertisements (Elliott, 2011).
The editorial integrations allowed consumers to see IKEA products in real-life scenarios. Examples of this
integration include using IKEA furniture in HGTVʼs show Dear Genevieve and using IKEA stores for a series of
“Life Improvement Seminars.” The series of “Life Improvement Seminars” were partnered with magazines and
television shows like O, the Oprah magazine, This Old House, Family Circle, and Cooking Light. By incorporating
the use of home and kitchen professionals and celebrities, more credibility was given to the IKEA brand. IKEA
also produced a television reality show called Fix This Kitchen, which depicted IKEAʼs line of kitchens and kitchen
products in a home makeover format (Elliott, 2011).
TheShare-Space.com is a social forum created so people can take photos of their IKEA-inspired rooms and share
with others. The site exemplifies the idea of “Made by _____, designed by IKEA” (Elliott, 2011). Not only can
users upload their own photos of their rooms they designed with the help of IKEA, but they can browse and find
inspiration from other users, too. Another neat feature is the ability to tag the product(s) shown in the photos.
When other users browse the spaces, they can use their mouse to rollover the tag and see a short description
and price of the product shown, as well as a link to the product on IKEA.com (“Share Space,” n.d.).
“The Life Improvement Project” was a national program run by IKEA consisting of a Life Improvement Sabbatical
contest, the Life Improvement Store Seminars (mentioned above), and the Life Improvement Co-Worker
Challenge. The sabbatical contest awarded the winner a year long $100,000 sabbatical to one person who
submitted the best idea to help improve the lives of others. The co-worker challenge gave IKEAʼs US employees
the chance to win five $10,000 grants to support a local community initiative. IKEA used the microsite,
thelifeimprovementproject.com, for users to upload their submissions, vote on other submissions, and get updates
on the contest (Vega, 2010).
IKEA USA launched its official Pinterest page on January 8, 2013 in hopes of giving consumers another place to
find home design and solutions “to create a better everyday life at home for less” (“IKEA USA announces,” 2013).
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According to the article “The IKEA Group is growing and financially strong” on IKEA.com published on January
-‐ For the fiscal year 2012 (FY12), IKEA Groupʼs total sales grew by 9.5%
-‐ Net profit increased by 8% to $4.2 billion
-‐ IKEA US FY12 store sales grew by 8% and total sales increased by 11%.
-‐ Through their People & Planet Positive sustainability strategy, IKEA committed to invest $1.9 billion in
-‐ IKEA Foundation raised donations to $109 million to improve opportunities for children and young
adults in the developing world
-‐ 13 stores in the US were remodeled, and 17 remodels will be completed in FY13
-‐ IKEA US lowered prices on best-selling items: POANG chair by 22%, MALM queen bed frame by
-‐ $27.5 billion in sales in 2012 (Biesada, n.d.)
Because IKEA continues to increase sales, they are able to pass savings on to its customers. IKEA also has room
to invest in its integrated marketing communications plan. By choosing to leverage its sustainability strategy, IKEA
will tap into another market of potential customers and be able to continue to grow sales.
-‐ Rooms To Go, Seffner, FL
o Stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina,
Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Puerto Rico
o Packages low- to moderately-price furniture and offers discounts when buying an entire
roomful of furniture (Biesada, n.d.)
-‐ Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc., Arcadia, WI
o 400 stores in the US, Canada, Mexico, and Japan
o Opened its first 35,000 square foot showroom in China in 2012
o Manufactures and imports upholstered, leather and hardwood furniture
o $1.47 billion in annual sales (Ramirez, n.d.)
-‐ Target Corporation, Minneapolis, MN
o 1,765 stores in 49 states, with 100 to 150 new stores set to open in Canada in 2013
o Home furnishings and décor made up 18% of Targetʼs total sales in 2012 (Biesada, n.d.)
o Offers stylish home furnishings by designers like Thomasville, Blu Dot, Thomas OʼBrien, and
Todd Oldham (Target.com, n.d.)
-‐ Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Bentonville, AR
o More than 10,000 stores internationally
o Home furnishings and décor made up 5% of total US sales in 2012
o Offers private label home furnishings and décor, as well as a line by Better Homes & Gardens
These are just a few of IKEAʼs many competitors. While major competitors like Target and Wal-Mart are beginning
to offer private-label home furnishings and décor to generate a more positive brand image, IKEA offers better
quality furniture that is superior to that offered by stores such as Target and Wal-Mart. Although the competitorsʼ
stores may be more abundant, IKEA is a destination store that provides an experience to its customers. Because
shopping at IKEA is an experience, IKEA still has an advantage over its competitors.
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Erin and David, both white and in their mid-20s, are getting married in a few months and just moved into their first
apartment together outside Atlanta, GA. They have no children, and both work full-time jobs while attending
graduate school. Due to busy work schedules, what little free time they have is spent doing schoolwork. Erin and
David donʼt have much time to spend driving from store to store to find furniture for their new home, let alone time
to shop at other stores for home essentials like comforters, bath towels, and kitchen utensils. They are on a
budget, but still value quality and want their home furnishings to reflect their style and personalities. IKEA is the
perfect shopping destination for Erin and David because not only will they find quality and stylish furniture at
affordable prices, but they will be able to complete each room in their home down to the last detail: from the throw
pillows on their couch to the silverware in their kitchen; from the floral arrangement and vase on the dining room
table to the shoe organizers in the walk-in closet; and virtually everything in between.
Generally speaking, IKEAʼs target market consists of college-educated, middle-class men and women in their
mid-20s to mid-30s from various ethnic backgrounds living near metropolitan areas. They are either single with no
children, but living in their own household, or they have just begun their families. They may work in managerial,
administrative, or other professional fields. They are mainstreamers and aspirers, favoring well-known brands,
and valuing image and appearance (“Psychographic segmentation,” n.d.). They also value hard work and a job
well done. The target market makes purchases when they are experiencing changes in lifestyle, such as moving
to a new home, or having their first child. The target looks for affordability and functionality, as well as quality and
style, when shopping for home furnishings. The target audience desires a stylish and trendy lifestyle without
having to spend a lot of money to achieve it.
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-‐ Furniture design starts with the price tag
-‐ Convenient one-stop shopping experience
-‐ Swedwood Group, part of the IKEA Industry Group, products wood-based furniture for IKEA, cuts
-‐ Minimize waste by using leftover materials to create new products
-‐ Environmental and social responsibility
-‐ Ability to think outside the box
o The LACK table design came from the idea to use a door as a tabletop
-‐ There may be 330+ stores around the world, but only 49 stores are located in North America
-‐ Stores in the U.S. are near metropolitan areas, and not always convenient for those outside of the
-‐ Low awareness about IKEAʼs social and environmental agenda
-‐ Low awareness of the IKEA Foundation
-‐ Furniture is affordable, good quality, and stylish so this can attract younger, first-time homebuyers
who are on a budget
-‐ IKEA strives to have a positive impact on the environment and this could attract consumers who are
-‐ Competitorsʼ stores are more abundant in the U.S.
-‐ More stores are finding ways to offer affordable and stylish home furnishings
-‐ Poor economy means not many people are buying new homes, which cuts down on the need to
purchase new furniture
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Marketing Objectives and Strategies
-‐ In six months, increase awareness of IKEAʼs sustainability and responsibility to the environment by
-‐ In one year, increase sales by 30% among the target audience by leveraging IKEAʼs environmentally-
conscious business ideas.
-‐ In six months, increase awareness by 20% by positioning IKEA as a stylish and affordable place to
buy furniture for first-time homebuyers.
-‐ Associate the IKEA brand with the environment by linking the indoors and the outdoors by creating
messages that show wildlife interacting with IKEA furniture, to emphasize that IKEA products are
good for the environment
-‐ Create messages that correlate shopping at IKEA with a greener and more eco-friendly lifestyle by
featuring IKEA products that have energy-saving features
-‐ Encourage first-time homebuyers to furnish their new homes with products from IKEA, by creating
messages that show how convenient shopping at IKEA is because of their wide variety of home
furnishings and their one-stop shop approach.
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Integrated Creative Strategy Statement
“We make saving energy look good.”
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Client: IKEA Date: 02/10/2013
Type: Magazine Ad Pages: 1
Why are we advertising?
To help consumers realize they donʼt have to compromise quality and style in order to have a positive impact on
Whom are we talking to?
People who want to take steps to a greener lifestyle, but donʼt want to sacrifice their personal style, or a lot of
money, to do so.
What do they currently think?
Being green can be expensive or will require too much effort. To be green you have to be extreme.
What would we like them to think?
Simple everyday solutions can make a big difference.
What is the single most persuasive idea we can convey?
IKEA does the hard work for you when it comes to energy-saving solutions.
Why should they believe it?
IKEA is committed to being environmentally responsible and IKEA products effectively blend style and
Are there any creative guidelines?
Four-color, full-page magazine ad.
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Body Copy Sheet:
Target: Men and women, ages 20-30, who want their homes to look stylish and also want to take steps toward
helping the environment, all while staying on a budget.
Headline: Style just comes naturally.
Subhead: Help the environment from the comfort of your own couch.
Copy: At IKEA, weʼre all about blending style and functionality. Thatʼs why we take steps to minimize waste and
make careful use of our resources, including recycling almost 90% of in-store waste for energy production. By
designing stylish furniture and offering it at affordable prices, we help you take steps to bettering your life and
saving energy in your own home. In fact, we make saving energy look good.
Tagline: We make saving energy look good.
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-‐ To reach 65% of the target audience in the first three quarters, and 80% by the last quarter.
-‐ To increase US store visits in one year by 50,000 per month for one year.
-‐ To increase US website visits in one year by 70,000 per month for one year.
-‐ To gain 250,000 followers each on Twitter and Facebook in six months.
-‐ Create Twitter and Facebook accounts with tips on how to cut energy costs, updates on new store
construction and energy-saving resources used for the new stores, and links to outside articles on
sustainable living, to increase website traffic. The use of banner ads will also increase website visits.
-‐ Television and magazine ads will be used to increase store visits by engaging consumers and
encouraging them to visit a store for easy and affordable energy-saving solutions.
The total budget allotted for media usage is $8 million. Budget allocation per medium is as follows:
-‐ Television: 50% = $4 million
-‐ Magazine: 35% = $2.8 million
-‐ Internet: 15% = $1.2 million
Internet – $1.2 million
-‐ Banner ads
o HGTV.com, BHG.com (Better Homes and Gardens)
-‐ Twitter profile
o Tweets including tips on how to easily cut energy costs at home
o Tweets about/links to information on new store openings and the energy-saving technology
used in those stores
o Links to outside articles on sustainable living
-‐ Facebook profile
o Posts/updates about cutting energy usage at home
o Photo updates on new stores
o Links/posts about the technology that is used to make the new stores energy-efficient
o Encourage followers to comment about which IKEA products that make their lives at home
easier and which products they use to cut their energy costs
o Links to outside articles on sustainable living
I chose banner ads because they are less obnoxious than pop-ups and also canʼt be blocked like pop-ups
can. Banner ads create awareness. A consumer might be on a website for decorating tips and notice a
banner ad for IKEA. They might not necessarily click through to IKEA.com, but they have become aware
of the ad and the IKEA product/brand and may visit the site another time. I chose HGTV.com and
BHG.com because they are popular websites to visit when looking for home improvement and decorating
ideas. IKEA should be positioned as the number one source for stylish, affordable, energy-saving home
furnishings and décor.
Twitter and Facebook were chosen as a way to communicate with consumers and keep them up-to-date
on what IKEA is doing to help the environment. Twitter and Facebook posts can show consumers that
IKEA isnʼt just preaching sustainable living, but they are practicing what they preach by posting pictures
and updates on the energy-efficient technology that goes into building new stores or remodeling existing
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ones. Twitter and Facebook also provide a forum for two-way communication between IKEA and its
consumers, while building a relationship. IKEA will appear more “approachable” as a brand.
Television – $4 million
-‐ 30 second ad spots
-‐ Network television
o Fox, ABC, CW
o Prime time daypart
I chose network television because it has a national coverage and is popular among the target market. I
chose the prime daypart because it draws the largest audience. I chose a 30-second spot because it is
the most common, plus I think a 15-second spot wouldnʼt be long enough to convey the message, and a
60-second spot could lose viewerʼs attention.
Magazine – $2.8 million
-‐ Full page, four color
-‐ Better Homes and Gardens
I chose Better Homes and Gardens and HGTV Magazine for the same reasons I chose the websites: they
are a good source of information on home improvement and decorating. Better Homes and Gardens has
a rate base of 7.6 million for 2013, so the circulation is high and will reach a large number of consumers. I
chose full page, four-color ads for the most visual impact.
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Public Relations Objectives and Tactics
-‐ Increase awareness of IKEAʼs commitment to sustainability and reduction of environmental impact by
70% by the end of 2013.
-‐ Increase employee community involvement by 50% in one year.
-‐ In one year, generate at least 25 positive media reports about IKEAʼs environmentally conscious
business practices and community involvement.
-‐ Habitat for Humanity partnership/sponsorship
o IKEA believes very strongly in community involvement. By partnering with Habitat for
Humanity, IKEA will be able to promote a positive company image in line with their business
practices. IKEA would encourage employees to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity by offering
each employee eight (8) hours of paid volunteering time. In addition to encouraging employee
involvement, IKEA would furnish the new homes built with furniture from their product line.
-‐ Corporate advertisements
o Corporate ads depicting how IKEA uses energy-saving technology in their stores through
their use of solar panels, etc.
o Corporate ads providing information about The Swedwood Group, an IKEA industry group
that is responsible for manufacturing furniture components and keeping production costs low,
in turn passing on savings to IKEA customers. The Swedwood Group also promotes IKEAʼs
commitment to sustainability.
-‐ IKEA People & Planet blog
o A blog run by IKEA dedicated to sustainability and making the world a better place for the
people in it. A blog would provide a two-way conversation between IKEA and consumers.
IKEA would use this blog to post updates about the technology, such as the use of solar
panels, in their new stores. The blog would also announce events, such as an upcoming
Habitat for Humanity build, and how people can get involved with the project. IKEA could also
link their blog posts to their Facebook and Twitter profiles.
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Direct Marketing Objectives and Tactics
-‐ To increase sales among new customers by 10% in one year
-‐ Send coupons for 20% off a purchase to new residents at apartment complexes in cities within a 150 mile
radius of each IKEA store
o Coupons would be valid for 60 days to encourage new tenants to go to IKEA to buy home
furnishings for their new apartments
-‐ To increase awareness of IKEAʼs eco-friendly products by 60% over a six month period
-‐ Direct mailers
o Mailers would be sent to households matching IKEAʼs target market profile
o Mailers would include information on energy-efficient/eco-friendly product choices available at
o To encourage purchase, recipients of the mailers would be invited to go online to activate a
printable coupon to use during their next in-store visit.
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Sales Promotions Objectives and Tactics
-‐ To increase repeat purchases by 30% in one year among current customers
-‐ IKEA Family loyalty program upgrade
o Currently, the IKEA Family program offers members monthly discounts on select products. While
this is a good way for customers to save money on items, the products featured each month
might not be items the customer needs or wants to purchase. Implementing a points program for
IKEA Family members would be a more effective way to pass savings on to customers.
One point would be earned for every dollar spent.
Rewards certificates can be earned at three levels: 500 points = $50 certificate; 1000
points = $150 certificate; and 2000 points = $300 certificate. Certificates can be
redeemed up to six months after the date it is earned, and can be redeemed on any in-
On select weekends, double points can be earned.
-‐ To increase repeat purchases by 20% in one year among new customers
-‐ Buy one, get one free on complementary products
o Examples: Buy a new IKEA lamp, get a pack of LED light bulbs for free; buy a new IKEA
mattress, get the bed base for free
o This promotion gives customer the incentive to buy at IKEA because they can buy everything in
one place and are saving money on items they were going to have to purchase anyway.
o This would be a good way for first-time IKEA shoppers to realize the value IKEA provides by
offering a variety of products in one store
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Measurement and Evaluation Plan
A focus group of 12 people comprised of IKEAʼs target audience will be assembled in each of the metropolitan
areas in which IKEA currently has stores. The purpose of the focus group is to test that the campaign is headed in
the right direction and the right strategies are being employed. I am looking to measure whether the tactics
outlined in the campaign will increase awareness about IKEAʼs mission to better the planet and its people. The
members of the focus group will hopefully conclude that the strategies designed for IKEA in this plan are
successful in creating awareness and correlating buying IKEA furniture and home furnishings as an easy and
effectual way for consumers to do their part in becoming more eco-friendly.
Utilizing the recognition method will measure if the print ads being run as part of this campaign stand out and
capture consumersʼ attention, as well as whether the ad communicates the message that IKEA provides
furnishings that are good for the environment and can save the customer money in energy costs. Ideally, the
recognition method will determine a noting score of at least 50%, a brand-associated score of 40%, and a read-
most score of at least 30%.
Using a tracking study will evaluate the effectiveness of the parts of the campaign designed to increase
awareness, purchase, and repeat purchase. Primarily, I would like to determine whether the revised IKEA Family
loyalty rewards program is encouraging repeat purchases among the existing consumer base. If 30% or more of
IKEA Family members are making multiple purchases in one year, that would be considered a success.
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IKEA is a company that understands how various parts work together to achieve the best “whole.” IKEA has a
hand in design, price, production, distribution, etc., so it only makes sense for IKEA to implement and integrated
marketing communications campaign. A successful IMC campaign achieves marketing and sales objectives by
combining the non-traditional and traditional forms of media. Integrated marketing communications is about
innovation and adaptation, much like IKEA.
The campaign that has been laid out is about mixing the traditional with the non-traditional to create a plan that
works best for IKEA. IKEA has many strengths as a company, especially their dedication to the people and the
planet. This campaign will capitalize on IKEAʼs environmentally-conscious nature and better expose this side of
IKEA to the target market.
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IKEA: blending style with sustainability