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Published December 9th 2014

IKEA & The Socializers: Building Social into the Heart of a Global Business

IKEA. One of the most instantly recognizable brands on our planet.

The infamous yellow and blue stores cover the length and breadth of the globe from Slovakia to Singapore and are a mecca to any Swedish meatball fan or first time buyer keen to deck out their new home.

The company continues to flourish, with over 200 stores in the EU alone. In November, Forbes named IKEA as the 40th most valuable brand in the world in their annual list, ahead of other household name powerhouses such as eBay, Nestlé and Mastercard.


With the organization’s motto ‘to build a better everyday life’ ingrained in everything they do, IKEA have a huge goal to work towards for 2020. They want to make the company ‘twice as good and twice as big’ at the turn of the next decade – a pretty colossal ambition for a company that have already achieved sales of over €28 billion in 2013.

So how does a company already amongst the top 40 most valuable companies in the world look to become twice as successful?

“It is all about finding simple solutions and saving on every method, process or approach adopted – but not on ideas.” – The IKEA business concept

IKEA turned to social media to discover important insights and begin the process.

Embedding social across the enterprise

Already armed with a reputation of providing solid customer service and experiences in-store, social media presented an opportunity for the brand to go even further and forge deeper, more meaningful relationships with its customers.

IKEA embarked upon a programme to connect different business units together and establish social media as a valuable channel across regions, departments and applications in a collaborative and intelligent way.

Tasked with pioneering this positive change, the Digital Development team within Inter IKEA Systems worked with tech-focused agency The Socializers to outline a strategy to morph IKEA into a truly socially intelligent operation.


The goal & the challenge

Being early adopters of digital marketing, with their much-lauded online catalogue being downloaded over 10 million times in 2013, the value of online marketing and social media was always understood at IKEA.

However, despite running social accounts in different departments and even countries, data and important insights often remained siloed and investment in technology to support this hadn’t been a priority.


Many successful and innovative practices being undertaken in some parts of the business were not reaching other departments that would also have benefited from such information.

Inter IKEA Systems needed to find a way to bring real-time social insights into the heart of IKEA, to bring it to the attention of senior management. But not just that – the importance of social needed to be seen throughout the company, at every level.

Introducing The Listening Hub

The Listening Hub, situated within Inter IKEA Systems HQ in The Netherlands, is a space that allows for detecting, sharing and distributing of insights across the organization.

Powered by Brandwatch Vizia, The Listening Hub allows IKEA to visualize valuable consumers insights from across the globe in real-time, allowing insights to be shared throughout different departments, markets and countries. As a result, IKEA are able to be much more agile and proactive in their social activities.

“The Vizia/Brandwatch Listening Hub at Inter IKEA Systems allows key IKEA stakeholders to gain fuller insight into global conversations about the brand. The Brandwatch analytics platform provides senior stakeholders with an effective planning tool for multiple silos and regions.” Hans Garner, Digital Development, Inter IKEA Systems.

Encouraging positive change

The Listening Hub is helping to encourage a positive change across the enterprise.

Thanks to insights and learnings taken from The Listening Hub, understanding within IKEA of the value and importance of social has improved.

Information is being shared and directed to the appropriate departments for action, and a tangible culture of wisdom and experience sharing is emerging.

“The Listening Hub provides stakeholders real insights into life at home for customers who are talking about IKEA online.” Hans Gartner, Digital Development at Inter IKEA Systems B.V, Delft, The Netherlands.

We looked further into how The Listening Hub & Brandwatch Vizia are helping IKEA to become a truly social business, and work toward that goal of becoming twice the brand they are today, in our new case study.



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