The IKEA executive was referring to the global economic recession that affected most businesses in Europe and North America. The recession brought a decrease in consumer purchases and the reduced availability of credit financing to companies by banks. The conditions prompted companies like IKEA to become more innovative to maintain their market shares and grow new markets. In addition, the tough economic conditions, which faced customers, forced them to reconsider their intention to buy furniture and other household goods. For companies like IKEA, this was a good opportunity to bring to the market their new cost-effective designs.
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For a store manager, the work of changing the store layout will involve several steps. First, I will come up with a budget for the planned layout change. The budget will dictate what ideas I can incorporate into the layout change and what I will leave out as unaffordable. It will specify the cost of each new improvement to the store layout. The next step will be the solicitation of ideas from my staff, starting with supervisors and proceeding to ordinary staff.
One or two customers will also get the opportunity to offer their suggestions in a discreet way. I will encourage them to give any kind of idea together with their explanations of why they think it will be dramatic. Third, I will be to select the most promising ideas that fit within the change budget. I will base the selection on cost-effectiveness and their dramatic appeal. Fourth, I will book an opportunity for implementing the store layout change.
Ideally, this should be the time just before a big shopping season. Before changing, all staff will undergo a routine briefing of the importance of the unavoidable changes. I will also ask them to remain indifferent during the transition period and change suddenly when the new layout is in place. To prevent negative reactions from loyal customers after the change, I will direct marketing efforts to explain the advantages and appeal of the fresh layout.
The message of the discarded lamp commercial is that sticking to furniture for a long period is not good. According to IKEA, furniture is not durable goods and should be replaced often (Griffin 421). Instead of feeling bad for the lamp, people need to recognize the opportunity to rekindle their new design thirst to go with the current trend. IKEA uses the commercial to show that it is a company, which takes seriously its commitment to set the trend for innovative designs. In addition, the company’s low-cost products make replacements less painful to the customer’s pocket.
I would want to manage an IKEA store before selling products; the company is selling a lifestyle (Griffin 426). Consequently, the store has plenty of room for a manager to customize the customer experience and staff relations while still maintaining the organizational culture of IKEA. The company sees stores are part of its competencies and, therefore, takes the work of store managers seriously. Being of value to the company increases the job satisfaction level of the store manager.
Moreover, the store manager serves the company’s customers directly, and the position works well for a hands-on manager type like me. A constant stream of new products makes increases the challenges of the job and makes it exciting (Griffin 427). Lastly, store management at IKEA is less stressful as there are fewer employees. Customers do most of the work while they shop, and the manager has few performance benchmarks to fulfill.
Griffin, Ricky. Management. 10th. Mason, OH: South Western Cengage Learning, 2008. Print.