IKEA’s 2013 Catalogue; Listening to Customers

Marketing lesson from IKEAWhen the IKEA 2013 catalogue arrived on my doorstep this past Thursday I was really excited! Every year upon receiving the magazine I sit down, look through it from cover to cover, and find all sorts of new products, ideas and inspiration. (Why are there so many things I didn’t even know I needed?!)

Upon opening the 2013 IKEA catalogue I found it really interesting to discover that the format had changed. I was surprised that IKEA is now showing people how to really personalize their furniture and accessories, with photos of IKEA tables covered with strips of fabric and a tablecloth that dinner guests have decorated themselves. My guess is that customers let IKEA know they were tired of their furniture looking like IKEA furniture, the same furniture as everyone else has….!

Another difference in this year’s catalogue is that it directs readers to get more information via their smart phone or tablet rather than online. All you have to do is scan icons on various pages for films, how-to guides, etc. This change in technology tells me that IKEA found that most of their customers wanted info quickly and easily on their smart phone/tablet.

What these changes point to is the fact that IKEA is listening to their customers and changing how they do business. They’re adapting, both to their customers’ product preferences and to the technology their customers are using.

Now I have to ask — are you listening to your customers? Not just asking the questions, but when you have the answers are you implementing changes?

I know small businesses don’t always have the manpower to conduct surveys or track and analyze everything (though you can hire me to do that!) however, you can listen to your customers by looking at which of your Facebook, Twitter, etc. posts are most popular and providing people more of that type of content. You could also adjust your services based on in-person customer feedback (ie. more self-care tips from a Physiotherapist) or create relevant packages.

Being able to take feedback and implement change is really important. Why don’t you take a few minutes now and look to see if there is any feedback you could use to improve your offerings?

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