Global Marketing

Ikea and Its International Marketing Channels


Ikea is a Swedish furniture company that was founded in Sweden but quickly expanded globally and became the largest furniture retailer in the world. Ikea is known for their modernist designs combined with low costs and easy assembly. It is particularly popular amongst the younger generation as it is affordable and modern looking. They also utilize warehouse-style retail space to sell their products, which forces their consumers to view all their products before leaving the store. As of June 2019, they had 433 IKEA stores operating in 52 countries.

International Success

One of the key factors to its international success was its international marketing and its usage of different marketing channels. Ikea utilizes multiple marketing channels including catalogues, commercials and social media to market their products to the rest of the world. Catalogues are Ikea’s greatest marketing tool, “it takes up 70% of their marketing budget (Just great database, 2019). With more than 200 million copies, the catalogue is one of the most widely distributed books worldwide (Quito, 2017)”. One of the main reasons for the success of these catalogues is the fact that they are often customized to the region they are distributed to. Ikea is able to cater them to fit the local taste and trends to capture more customers. For example, their US catalogues often contain larger spaces, while Chinese catalogues contain smaller spaces, as houses and apartments are often smaller in China. Ikea also markets their products internationally through commercials on regional channels. These commercials often vary in length and content depending on regional preferences. They are also adjusted to fit the cultural norms and values or social issues of a region. Lastly, Ikea also has its own YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram page in different countries it is in. They are able to use social media to reach and share content with their consumers in that region.