Tag Archives: furniture

ReUse and ReCycle IKEA Products

Sustainability is an important topic to consumers and companies alike. We all hate to waste products and materials if they might have a future use. And, yet, it sometimes seems as if certain products are made to deliberately fall apart sooner than we consumers thinks they should. What should a consumer do? Well, one answer is to repurpose the aging item. Case in point: IKEA’s Stockholm carpet.

IKEA continues its efforts to help consumers think of ways to reuse its products (remember the “Big Blue Bag” article we wrote recently?). The latest idea from the company is 18 different ways to turn an old Stockholm carpet into new items, instead of just throwing it out. Some of the creative ideas include:

  • Doormat
  • Dog blanket
  • Shopping bag
  • Snowshoes
  • Stair carpet
  • Punching bag
  • Compost insulator
  • Scratching post

Think of items in your house. Can they be reused instead of tossed in the trash?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss how companies can take initiatives on recycling and reusing worn items. What are examples that students can think of?
  2. Show IKEA’s Stockholm blog: https://m2.ikea.com/no/no/ideas/-ebc301c155a511e7b6087300b3bddef9, and play the video.
  3. What are other products and companies that could use a similar approach to recycle and reuse?
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team work on a product that could be reused into a new product.
  5. Alternative: Bring in old rugs or other products and have each team work on repurposing the item into something new.

Source:   Creativity Online

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The Changing Face of Selling Furniture

Consumers are used to buying small items such as books, music, and household goods online thanks to Amazon and other ecommerce retailers. But what about shopping for larger and more expensive items such as furniture? Is there a market for online sales of furniture?

It turns out that the answer to that question is “yes.” Wayfair, Inc., a Boston-based retailer has no physical stores with very minimal inventory, but it has grown to be the largest online-only retailer in the United States with revenue more than $2.25 billion! The company advertises itself as selling “a zillion things home” and carries more than seven million products, from rugs to sofas. Utilizing a supply network of more than 7,000 different furnishings suppliers, the company ships large bulky items direct from suppliers to the consumers.

While it might initially seem that consumers would not be interested in buying furniture online, Wayfair uses a unique combination of Web site along with television shows to showcase its products and designs. The show “The Way Home” sponsored by Wayfair airs on Lifetime TV on Saturdays. Different episodes focus on design challenges including the latest trends, utilizing small spaces, and decorating on a budget.

Go ahead, see how to make over your least-favorite room on a budget!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. While the buying process may vary slightly for different products and target markets, the basic 5-step process remains the same: problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior.
  2. For furniture buying, have students work on the actions taken in each of the five steps.
  3. Next, show Wayfair’s Web site: https://www.wayfair.com/
  4. Show Wayfair’s TV show: https://www.wayfair.com/thewayhome/?&episode=10&clip=1
  5. How is the company using integrated marketing communications?
  6. For furniture, who is the target market?
  7. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market for Wayfair. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.

Source:  Wall Street Journal   

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IKEA’s new TV – streamlining homes and entertainment

The latest design from global furniture company IKEA is a new product that includes TV, sound, and furniture – all in a single unit. This is IKEA’s first foray into the home electronics market, and they have done it with their typical Swedish style. The new unit integrates RCA’s HDTV into a fully customizable piece of furniture that can be tailored and expanded to fit multiple décor and sizes. The unit is classic IKEA; designed to fit into small spaces and hide the ugly cables so prominent in today’s home entertainment systems. The company commissioned a five-country market research product to help it develop the product.

The TV unit – named Uppleva – comes with a five-year warranty and integrates Blu-ray technology, video, Web inputs, wireless speakers, music, and a single remote into a comprehensive entertainment system. The unit will be available first in European markets this summer, followed by a broader launch later in the year. The base price of the unit is expected to be $955 (U.S.). The unit carries IKEA’s clean design and easy assembly features, maintaining the company’s brand value of delivering quality furniture at affordable prices.

 

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Ask students to describe their current TV and entertainment system: type, remotes, furniture, cables, and different devices for TV, radio, music, movies.
  2. What are the problems with their current systems? What could be better?
  3. Show the IKEA Uppleva video: http://youtu.be/0Nm7-EuctOs
  4. How does this TV change IKEA’s business model?
  5. How does this complete with other HDTV products?
  6. What is the target market for this product?
  7. Is this market the same in the U.S. as well as Europe?
  8. Have students view the IKEA’s Web site: www.ikea.com.
  9. How does this product reflect IKEA’s brand? Is the company brand consistent throughout the 400 countries in which it operates?
  10. And because everyone likes to make fun of (not so easy) assembly systems, end class with this video from  Conan O’Brien’s  show: http://youtu.be/89taazMC6FE

 

 

Source: Brandchannel.com, 4/23/12

 

 

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