Selling IKEA To Architects

Over on Instagram (@markpollard), we’ve been working on hypothetical strategy exercises together through Instagram Stories. I ask for suggestions of brands and audiences and then we try to reach a version of the Four Points.
Last week, we worked on selling IKEA to architects.

Attempt 1–Without an architect’s point of view

We did not use research to land here and I’m not sure how far into a strategy we really landed.

The thing that I found interesting is the thought that PERHAPS we could appeal to a sort of competitive resentment–as in, “You’re bigger than our instructions. Let’s see what you can do.”

It’s a somewhat overwhelming experience to trawl through tens of thoughts on Instagram and to try to wrestle them into something coherent but people seemed to enjoy it (see it here).

Until some didn’t.

Not only did we get called “stupid” but, wait for it, someone who is an architect said we were working with the wrong pain points.

Totally fair although we weren’t trying to be right or wrong. And we weren’t trying to land somewhere we’d ever recommend.

Still, I asked this architect to workshop an alternative with me.

Attempt 2–With an architect’s point of view

Introducing Ana Škorić (@ankabashtovanka), an architect who works in marketing.

We spent an hour on Saturday talking through the challenge (listen here).

In Ana’s point of view, IKEA is just difficult. She said, “IKEA doesn’t play well with others.”

For many architects, IKEA is stubborn and won’t bend to their vision so they “just buy a lamp or a couch”.

Again, this strategy needs work. But it hinges on the thought that architects who piecemeal their projects together run the risk of increasing the risk, the stress, the budget, the people, and the discontent of their clients.

You can read the details here but know that this kind of exercise would happen 5+ times on any project. Then you’d take the strongest thinking–the thinking that you can argue for because you have research at hand and the thinking that your teams have responded to–and write it into better shape.


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