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How IKEA Family Connects 150 Million People (and Counting)

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IKEA’s Aaron Mitchell and R/GA’s Rebecca Bezzina in conversation

How IKEA Family Connects 150 Million People (and Counting)

In a year in which the world was forced to hunker down at home, the world’s largest home furnishings retailer saw its brand promise matter more than ever. IKEA’s purpose - to create a better everyday life for the many people - is focusing on enhancing customers’ homes at a time when hybrid office/classroom/living spaces are the norm.

That’s a key driver for transforming IKEA Family, its 150-million member loyalty program, into more than a 'customer club' with discounts.

“It's really about deepening that relationship, offering genuine help, and making a real difference to every single member's life at home,” says Aaron Mitchell, IKEA’s global VP of customer engagement and loyalty, on the latest podcast.


Every hour, more than 1,800 new members join IKEA Family. But as Mitchell explains to Rebecca Bezzina, SVP and managing director of R/GA London, the goal isn't to scale and get bigger, but to create “a more personal and rewarding relationship” with all IKEA customers that transcends the transaction and creates value year-round. 

As he notes about the fundamental questions behind this evolution: “How do we transform IKEA Family to a genuine, rewarding relationship that feels personal for every single member? And how do we actually be part of every member's journey for their dreams, their plans, their ideas, and needs to bring their ideas for their home to life?”

Evolving IKEA Family into a connected ecosystem will help activate its community and bring together its members around shared values and topics such as sustainability. “150 million people all around the world sharing different ideas and inspiration for life at home for me is incredibly inspiring,” he comments.

“It's really about deepening that relationship, offering genuine help, and making a real difference to every single member's life at home.” — Aaron Mitchell, IKEA’s global VP of customer engagement and loyalty.

Creating a virtual community connected around shared goals naturally requires doing more with customers’ data—and getting their buy-in through explaining how their data can unlock more benefits as an IKEA Family member. The need to educate customers about the data value exchange led to the Customer Data Promise, IKEA’s ethical data framework that’s based on transparency and trust.

“It's really about how we can unlock customer value from our data,” says Aaron, “because a lot of businesses, I think their starting point is how do I drive more analytics and insights to sell more? But I think if you take that starting point, you're not really thinking about the human being that is behind data. And this is something where we are sort of wanting to challenge, a little bit, is to really think about how we create the most value back for people trusting us with their data.”

With its focus on building a personalised community and relevance through ethical data, Aaron tells Rebecca that IKEA aims to not just be “a brand that you buy from, but a brand that you buy into and want to engage with and participate with. If we stand for a better everyday life at home, then we stand for more than just selling you individual products, and we stand for more than just being a furniture store. We really want to be the starting point for a better life at home for the people.”

Enjoy this podcast on Spotify, SoundCloud, iHeartRadio and Stitcher as well as right here on rga.com. 

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R/GA London, Tue, 08 Dec 2020 12:02:47 GMT