IKEA’s first-ever festival provides tours of homes from around the world

Discussion
Source: IKEA.com/festival
Sep 20, 2021

IKEA last Thursday hosted its first-ever IKEA Festival, providing tours of the homes of artists, interior designers, DJs, chefs and regular customers around the world for 24 hours.

Over 100 homes in more than 50 countries were showcased during the free festival.

Attendees saw intimate concerts and performances from popular musicians and DJs in their homes and studios. Chefs participated in cooking challenges featuring healthy, planet-friendly and no-waste recipes from their own kitchens. Interior designers as well as regular customers provided home makeover inspiration by detailing how they crafted their own living spaces.

Livestreams took attendees to IKEA locations, including a factory floor in Zbąszynek, Poland and its prototype shop in Älmhult, Sweden. IKEA stores in different markets held their own events, according to Advertising Age. In Canada, the retailer hosted limited capacity, interactive in-store activities such as creative spaces where visitors learned art techniques and workshop spaces where visitors learned about home organization and room planning pro-tips, along with how to extend the life of their IKEA products.

Replays of sessions from the event are available online.

“Our first IKEA Festival will bring people together around life at home in a new way, both online and in our stores, and will be the beginning of a longer-term movement of real homes and real lives,” said Olivia Ross Wilson, communications director, Ingka Group, the largest owner of IKEA stores, in a statement.

In a recent column for Advertising Age, Lisa Hurst, EVP of marketing and strategy for the Chicago-based agency, Upshot, discussed how stores are being leveraged to support livestream shopping and the creation of social content.

“The future is phygital and ‘‘phygi-social,’’ she wrote. “We have an unprecedented opportunity to reimagine physical stores as exciting destinations for experience, co-creation and other participatory forms of engagement. And as social and digital content play a larger and more influential role in brand building as well as sales, these destinations will play a concurrently larger role in the creation of that content, so now’s the time to consider how your brand can create its own ‘collab house’ style content environment.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of the IKEA Festival and the potential of livestreaming events as an engagement and discovery tool? Where do you see the biggest opportunities around livestreaming for retailers?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Generally IKEA is good at understanding how people live their lives, and I see this as a natural extension of their expertise in the home space."
"The notion of phygital accurately captures the future with exciting opportunities of “experience, co-creation and other participatory forms of engagement.”"
"This is a great idea! I never thought the displays they had in-store represented U.S. homes very well..."

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7 Comments on "IKEA’s first-ever festival provides tours of homes from around the world"


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Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

This seems like an interesting and engaging concept – not least because many people like to see the homes of others and get ideas and inspiration from them. Generally IKEA is good at understanding how people live their lives, and I see this as a natural extension of their expertise in the home space.

Mohamed Amer, PhD
BrainTrust

IKEA is on to something big here. The company understands that shopping for the home is shifting from being primarily a store experience to more online, social, and even collaborative. The notion of phygital accurately captures the future with exciting opportunities of “experience, co-creation and other participatory forms of engagement.”

Katie Thomas
BrainTrust

I love the balance of the designers and every day consumers. This combination of the aspirational with the realistic really allows consumers to get inspired in terms of what is actually feasible for them to achieve. Since IKEA is still a largely affordable brand, no reason to go only aspirational and ultimately be out of reach.

Richard Hernandez
BrainTrust
Richard Hernandez
Director of Commerce
1 year 6 days ago

This is a great idea! I never thought the displays they had in-store represented U.S. homes very well, so it would be great to actually see other towns and cities and how they live, etc.

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

I’m actually quite impressed by both the idea and the execution, although – with all due respect to Ms. Durst – the words “phygital” and “phygi-social” ought to be permanently banned before they have a chance to catch on, not only because they are prime examples of painfully cliched marketing speak, but because they miss the point. What IKEA knows is that we have moved beyond labels and neologisms to a new arena where marketing, social content, education, entertainment, and media are all part of a blended stream designed to touch and engage shoppers on a variety of levels at the same time. Let’s just call it retailing. Streaming is the (immediate) future for content transmission and the sooner retailers embrace that the better.

Melissa Minkow
BrainTrust

The audience is there because IKEA is an experiential brand that consumers already look to for inspiration. Established brands like IKEA can benefit greatly from this type of initiative. Brands hoping to drive awareness or trial will have to get even more creative with live-streaming and digital experiences, but once they get it right, it’s a very smart tactic.

Doug Garnett
BrainTrust

Not excited about this. Public pronouncements like these from IKEA suggest to me that they face a serious challenge due to their success — what to become next. Unfortunately, their goods remain college room and new renter spectacular, but unable to upscale as well.

What’s missing for me is a clear sense of who IKEA wants to be these days — it’s simply not clear to me.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Generally IKEA is good at understanding how people live their lives, and I see this as a natural extension of their expertise in the home space."
"The notion of phygital accurately captures the future with exciting opportunities of “experience, co-creation and other participatory forms of engagement.”"
"This is a great idea! I never thought the displays they had in-store represented U.S. homes very well..."

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