The Big Blue Bag

If you have ever been to IKEA – or even seen a catalog – you are probably familiar with the iconic FRAKTA bag. It’s big, sturdy, easy to clean, lightweight, inexpensive, with handles, and is blue. It lasts a long time, stores in small spaces, and has virtually unlimited uses. And to top it all off – it only costs $0.99!

A few months ago though, high-end fashion house Balenciaga started selling another big blue bag that looks suspiciously like FRAKTA. But, that bag is priced at a whopping $2,145! As often happens in situations like this, people went crazy with hacks to show how to turn the blue bag into other items. Some of the creative ideas included shoes, hats, face masks, baby bibs, capes, blankets, wallets, and more.

IKEA then took the idea and ran with it by improving the FRAKTA bag with patterns printed on the bag and instructions on how to repurpose it (no tools included). In fact, the company even has additional uses posted on its Web site.

Since it would be crazy to cut up a thousand dollar bag, Balenciaga’s bag is not very likely to have multiple uses, thus leaving IKEA free to innovate on a common product.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of branding for companies and products.
  2. What happened when Balenciaga came out with its shopping bag? How does this affect both brands?
  3. Show the videos about the bag from IKEA:

  1. Also show the Web site:
  2. Bring several of the blue bags (the cheap one) to class. Divide students into teams and have each team create a new use for the bag/material.
  3. Are there other common inexpensive products that could be repurposed?

Source:  Mashable,, other news sources   

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