3. Target Audience Insights

Identifying a Target Market

IKEA’S business idea is to offer a wide range of well designed, functional home furnishing products at a low price. But what sets IKEA apart from other discount furniture stores is that its products are still great quality and value for the money paid.

The products are brand new, good quality, economically produced and are bought in bulk to keep the costs down. All of which to ensure they’re more affordable.

IKEA is aiming to appeal to people who all have one thing in common: a value mindset.

An URBAN Brand

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IKEA has developed a retail distribution system that leveraged urban locations to enter the U.S. market.  Today, most locations are located in or near the largest urban markets in the country.

And that’s a good thing, because these markets are areas of the country where young people, fresh out of school, are spurning small-town living and moving to cities begin their adult lives.  According to the New York Times article by Claire Cain Miller, “even as Americans over all have become less likely to move, young, college-educated people continue to move at a high clip — about a million cross state lines each year, and these so-called young and the restless don’t tend to settle down until their mid-30s.”

Walk into any city-dwelling twenty-something’s apartment and you can be assured of one thing: you’ll find something from IKEA. 

The Swedish furniture maker has become synonymous with that period in our lives, when we’re too poor to buy expensive investment pieces. It’s not exactly a negative thing, but there’s a sense that IKEA may be starter furniture. The brand has become a staple for this period of life, but looks to retain a relationship with this customer as they upgrade their jobs, relationships and homes, as reported by WIRED in their “IKEA’s New Portable Furniture Is a Smart Take on Modern Urban Life” article.

Nearly 60% of young American city dwellers plan to move within the next two years.

Target Profile: The Young (But Maturing) Urbanite

Age: 25 to 35

Education:  High school graduate or higher

Marital status:

  • Single, but living with significant other
  • Or married and starting a family

In particular, they are loyal to brands (including TV brands) that match the way they consumer entertainment.

They do not base all their decisions on cost, they can be extremely brand particular.

And they are loyal to brands that communicate the importance they place on form and function— form and function that reflects their values.





  • I’m saving up my money, so I can do those things I want (etc. marriage, buying a home, grad school)
  • I love the quality that IKEA lends me.  Aren’t the meatballs awesome???
  • DIY: would love to personalize my home, but that is hard to do in a rental
  • I want my/our space to be comfortable, yet stylish

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Infographic Source

Social Media Consumption Patterns:

The urban millennial target are digital natives, which means they grew up with technology and social media. They use digital media to read reviews, shop, interact with their favorite brands.

Their digital profile is an extension of their personal profile. Their sharing behaviors online reflect their personal interests to a greater degree.

At least 65% of Millennials use a second device while watching TV, but their second screen (and third and fourth screen) activities are most likely not related to TV content.

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Infographic Source

So what are they doing?

  • 75% post on Facebook
  • 73% shop online
  • 49% Tweet
  • 43% read an e-book

Urbanites are more likely to use the Internet to broadcast their thoughts and experiences and to contribute user-generated content. They are far more engaged in activities such as rating products and services, and upload videos, images and blog entries to the web.

Key Takeaway:  The IKEA social media campaign is going to focus on 25-35 urbanites, single professionals and young families, who live in smaller city apartments and plan to move or make improvements to their space.


ShareThis.com by Kurt Abrahamson. Retrieved from http://www.sharethis.com/blog/2014/09/23/new-consumer-study-millennials-2x-likely-purchase-products-share/#sthash.BYwjFPpG.dpbs

IKEA’s New Portable Furnityre Is a Smart Take on Modern Urban Life by Liz Stinson.  Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/2014/03/smart-new-collection-ikea-people-move/#slide-id-640222

Digital Media by Verizon. Retrieved from digitalmedia.com/content/verizonstudy_digital_millennial.pdf

New York Times by Claire Cain Miller. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/20/upshot/where-young-college-graduates-are-choosing-to-live.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=1

The Boston Consulting Group Report. Retrieved from http://www.brandchannel.com/images/papers/536_BCG_The_Millennial_Consumer_Apr_2012%20(3)_tcm80-103894.pdf

IKEA.com website, Map of U.S. IKEA Stores. Retrieved from http://info.ikea-usa.com/StoreLocator/StoreLocator.aspx



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