Earlier this month I was invited to a behind the scenes tour at IKEA Malaysia. This was part of their blogger program me which I was invited to be part of as well. The picture above was taken at their very cool office. See more on their Facebook page. I also learnt some cool facts – IKEA Malaysia sells 590,000 meatballs and 300,000 curry puffs each month. Mind boggling!
There are a few brands that I would gladly associate myself with without hesitation. The first would be Apple – no surprises there. I also really love WordPress. And the other brand on this very short list would be IKEA.
The first major piece of furniture I bought was from IKEA. Incidentally, this TOMEILILA sofa is still in great shape and is part of our new living room. Try spotting how many IKEA stuff we have in our new home – it’s like an IKEA showroom!
The IKEA Way
IKEA preaches taking responsibility for people and for the environment as a prerequisite for doing good business. From my visit to IKEA I could see that they don’t say this to blow smoke in our face, they are serious about it. All their employees are trained to recycle to the point that they don’t even have trash bins at their desks – they have to pick up and deposit their trash in a common bin. That’s definitely a good habit to inculcate because I regularly see Malaysians chucking trash out their car window.. aiya!
The other hallmark of IKEA’s products are it’s great value. They put in a lot of effort producing quality furniture at affordable prices. On the tour of their office, IKEA’s floor manager briefed us on how they kept prices low with production techniques, using raw materials efficiently and their self-assembly concept.
I could see clearly that IKEA practices what they preach. They’re a great brand but they don’t worry too much about how they look – they’re too busy keeping up with their high standards. Their brand speaks for itself through their business practices and products.
It also occurs to me that visiting an IKEA store is a lot like visiting an Apple store. You experience the brand and have a great time even though you don’t buy anything.
As part of the blogger programme, IKEA has asked me to share my experiences, hacks, ideas and more about IKEA for the next 12 months.
One of the perks of being in the programme is that I’m being compensated for blogging. Yes! I’m finally making money with my blog 😛 I’m mentioning this also as a disclaimer. However, I’d like to emphasize that I’m not obligated to blog about IKEA and that they have no editorial control about the content that appears on my blog. I’m happy to blog about IKEA because I’m a fan.
I’ve now got to come up with 12 months worth of posts! Please let me know if you have suggestions for particular topics you’d like to see. I will be tagging my posts ‘Project IKEA‘ if you’d like to follow along.
P.S. IKEA is gearing up for Christmas! Check out what they have in store on their Facebook page – Celebrate with IKEA this Christmas.