How we badly wanted the IKEA catalogue team to get their hands dirty
Just like last year, InSites Consulting was asked by Inter IKEA Systems to evaluate the IKEA catalogue by means of a Consumer Consulting Board. IKEA is always looking for ways to change its catalogue in order to make it talk to as many people as possible and we flexed our research muscles to make this happen again. With a lot of engaging topics, some observational tasks and some quanti implicit measurement exercises added to the mix, we reached an understanding of the consumers’ first reactions and evaluations of the 2014 IKEA catalogue, making sure to carefully answer the research objectives that were put forward by the IKEA research team.
Just like last year, we were invited to Malmö to present our findings, but unlike the year before, we decided to aim for more internal leverage at IKEA. As you may know, at InSites Consulting we try to drive ultimate consumer centricity by gathering employees and other stakeholders around the table, together with of course, the consumer.
“Life is for participating, not for spectating.” by Kathrine Switzer
Uhu… Keep talking…
It’s simple. We tried to boost the impact of our report, by bringing the IKEA catalogue team closer to the consumers who were interacting with the catalogue. We did this in 3 different ways with varying levels of customer activation:
This time, we did not only send weekly newsletters to the participants of the Consumer Consulting Board. We also sent weekly updates to the IKEA catalogue team, where we focused on interesting verbatims lifted directly from the community. By doing so, the research became more alive in the minds of the customer and they already had the right frame of mind for our final presentation that was to follow later.
2. Research community
During the project and in the year after, the IKEA catalogue team had immediate access to the community. It’s the most direct way for them to immerse themselves in the consumer world. Next time they have a brainstorm, they can simply go the community, re-read what the consumers thought about a certain topic and feel the inspiration. It’s a source full of rich quotes at their fingertips, which they can easily search when they feel the need.
Finally – and immediately after our final presentation of the results – it was time for the IKEA employees to participate rather than to merely spectate. Based on the research, we had reached 4 strategic goals that IKEA could/should communicate by means of their catalogue.
Our approach was the following:
- We brought the consumer in the room, by handing out consumer quotes on pieces of paper
- Based on these quotes they first needed to draw their own conclusions, with the findings of the report in the back of their minds
- Finally they were asked to formulate recommendations or actions: what could this mean for next year’s catalogue? The beautiful thing is that the recommendations now actually originated from the catalogue team rather than from us.
Nice, so what do I need to remember from this?
That the strongest impact is made when you represent the consumer in a way that is as ‘alive’ as possible. From our perspective as researchers, it was amazing to watch the IKEA team working with the quotes we gave them, to see the impression that these quotes were having on them and to be a part of their brainstorm about possible solutions for next year’s catalogue.
Next time you get your hands on an IKEA catalogue, think about us and the efforts we’ve made to help shape what will lay in front of you.
Want to find out more on our consumer centricity approach? Read our brand new paper Why every company needs a Chief Consumer Officer and discover five steps to become a consumer-centric thinking company.