The entire secret to IKEA world domination can essentially be summarized in one word: price. IKEA has a unique position in many segments in that it is simply the cheapest available option, without regard to quality. I've definitely noticed a change in my own purchasing behavior since being exposed to IKEA - it is a much more fluid, less deliberative form of decision. Let's put it this way - I look at IKEA purchases more like getting a haircut than getting a tattoo. Why? Because compared to whatever your next option might be, the IKEA route is just that much cheaper.
I'm going to stick with my gut on this one, and maintain that price should keep the number one spot in the great IKEA debate. But quality is easily the next best thing IKEA has going for it, and in large measure only because the prices are so darn low. Now when we say quality, we should be clear what we mean: the majority of things you buy are going to outlast the use you had for them. Ikea stuff generally doesn't break if it wasn't broken when you bought it and you didn't do something completely off-spec with it.
3. Instant Gratification
IKEA is still the supermarket of furniture. You push your shopping cart right up to the palet. Now with respect to kitchens, which we will be focusing on at Big Ikea, this is a hit-or-miss proposition. But it is still more than theoretically possible - it just means that to optimize the DIY forces that one can harness though IKEA, one needs to know how and when to order, not just what to order.
Today's list has 5 items, and it would be unfair to put design last, as if that somehow meant that the worst thing about IKEA kitchens was their design. That simply is not true. Their design is incredible, if only for the fact that it affords such good price, quality and availability as it does. But when you stop to think that it does all this, and the finished product in many cases cannot be distinguished in looks or performance from options that are 5-10x more expensive, you have to admit that its the overall design that lets that happen.
Having said that, design is IKEA's biggest weakness. To be consistent in quality and low in price, they have to keep variability tightly in check.
5. Environmentally Conscious
We probably need to post a disclaimer on the blog that makes one thing clear: WE DO NOT WORK FOR IKEA. In fact, WE DO NOT EVEN KNOW ANYONE WHO WORKS FOR IKEA. As we said before, we just like legos, and IKEA is like legos for grownups, so we like IKEA. And when we find things we don't like or that are sinister about IKEA, we will report them.
That still, IKEA is one of the world's truly green companies.
Starting in 1999, IKEA set out to make minimizing environmental impact a key pillar of its corporate philosophy. No shopping bags. 42% renewable enegergy. 84% recycle rate in stores. One of the biggest places where IKEA policy can have a real impact is forestry and the logging industry. Whether you believe what IKEA reports or not (which will be the topic of a later post), and how closely IKEA hews to its own philosophy, their approach to carbon inputs is the way the planet needs to go.
The Top 5 WORST Things About Ikea Kitchens!!!