A night with Billy at the IKEA Hotel?
With IKEA branching out further into hotels, what will be its recipe for success? Staying in a hotel can be a fantastic adventure or a necessary evil. As a brand designer, the concept of brands voluntarily turning themselves into hotels always amuses me (see earlier blog post). It creates an amazing opportunity to think different, think 360° and think big. And yet still think small in terms of locality.
According to The Associated Press, Inter IKEA – the company that owns the IKEA intellectual property rights – is planning budget hotels in 100 locations across Europe. But, and this is an intriguing but, the chain won’t use IKEA’s name or furniture. “… it will engrain the IKEA philosophy of good quality at a reasonable price.” Since the news broke a bit over a week ago, questions as “Will the restaurant at least serve Swedish meatballs?” and “Will the hotel also be organized like a temptress maze?” have naturally arisen. With budget-friendly, designer-chic hotels already starting to pop-up everywhere, IKEA has not told us yet what will make theirs different.
My first experience working in the design business was in fact a traineeship with IKEA. And I like to argue that the company’s philosophy is a lot richer than just ‘good quality at reasonable price’. They know it too of course. After having interrogated their brand and understood the consumers, I am sure they aim to disrupt the market place somehow. The interesting thing is that according to Elle Decoration’s annual design trend report (September 2012 issue), the mood right now is grown-up, refined and restrained. Does not sound very ‘IKEA’ indeed. They are also advocating individuality more than ever. Not your average ‘IKEA’ either.
So perhaps the hotel chain should avoid IKEA in its name by all means. We are all familiar with the rich, Nordic exotic Ikeanish dictionary anyways. Just call the hotel ‘SÖMN®’ [sleep] and the first word of the new brand story is already starting to make history.
In: Brand communications, Brand Experience, Brand Strategy, Innovation, Naming, Viewpoints · Tags: Hotels, Ikea