Bold letters and primary colors. The IKEA logo hints at something big and exciting. The blue represents trust and openness, while yellow depicts happiness, optimism and imagination. IKEA also shares those colors with the national flag of its home country, Sweden.
This is part three in our five-part series on iconic brands and brilliant experiences. We know that the secret to a great brand goes well beyond a great logo. While the logos we're featuring in our series are definitely iconic, the brands these logos represent make it clear: Great branding is building relationships and creating experiences that matter to the customer.
The IKEA Logo Evolves
IKEA was started in 1943 by a 17-year-old Swedish entrepreneur, Ingvar Kamprad. The now-famous international home products company started as a local furniture catalog. From the beginning, the vision was to provide simple furnishings that made life easier.
Unlike the iconic Tiffany logo, which has remained the same since its inception, the IKEA logo has evolved over time. The first IKEA logo was created in 1951 and went through several dramatic changes until 1967, when the block letters were encased in an oval inside a rectangle. After a brief experiment with a red and white variation, the bold yellow and blue design we see today was launched in 1983.
A Brand Vision succeeds in-Store and Online
While the logo may have changed, the company's vision remained the same: “To create a better everyday life for the many people.” With equal parts of better and many. Between September 2012 - August 2013, IKEA printed 212 million catalogs in 29 languages, and welcomed 716 million visitors to 351 IKEA stores in 43 countries.
IKEA has grown from a small local catalog to an international life experience. A major part of this success can be attributed to the IKEA online brand experience, which translates the best of its in-store experience–with inspiring sample rooms packed with ideas you can't wait to take home–to websites that are equally packed with inspiration, helpful tools, and shopping without the lines. So what? Lots of companies offer great online shopping.
What IKEA has done so brilliantly is deliver an incredibly consistent experience to website and in-store customers around the world. With no less than 48 uniquely customized, country-specific websites, IKEA has more than 1.5 billion web visits.
But it wasn't always seen as a online success. The first IKEA website was launched in 1997, and it wasn't until 2001 that a cleaner, crisper site design appeared. At one point in 2007, IKEA announced it would shift all its resources to developing stores as the only sales channel, even as it launched new websites in 24 countries. Today, the IKEA website features an estimated 12,000 products, nearly the entire IKEA range.
BRANDING LESSONS LEARNED
Create a consistent experience at every point of contact. Reach customers where they live.
Whether you live in Taiwan or Sweden or any point in between, if you log into IKEA.com the brand and customer experience remain consistent. By carefully tailoring sites to the local languages, national cultures and trends, IKEA successfully shares its brand with customers in nearly 50 countries worldwide.
Now that's a brilliant international brand!
Read more about the IKEA story and the evolution of the Ikea logo.
© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2003-2013
The IKEA logo and IKEA wordmark are registered trademarks of Inter IKEA Systems B.V.
Want to learn more lessons from well-known brands? Check out these Be Brilliant! blog posts:
Be Brilliant!® | Be Brilliant!® Marketing is a branding and marketing agency based in Southwest Florida. Our work and experience has taken us around the globe, working for clients ranging from local entrepreneurs to global, Fortune 100 companies. If you’re on Facebook, be sure to Like our page. Follow us on Twitter @BeBrilliantMktg.
® Registered Trademark of Brilliant Lens LLC