New American Dream?


Last week we heard a story on the radio how IKEA was doing research – no, not about the furniture, but about what defines the American Dream. It happens that Americans care more about quality of life than accumulating possessions, and the American dream is more about experiences than owning things. This is a profound insight.

Although the research results may seem like bad news for a company like Ikea, a well-known purveyor of low-cost home furnishings, but that’s not how Ikea sees it.  By understanding what their customers want out of life, Ikea can position itself accordingly.  For example, many of the experiences customers seek take place in the home–holiday gatherings with extended family, movie nights with the kids, backyard marshmallow roasts on a chilly fall evening.  While Ikea can’t sell experiences, it can sell products that enable these experiences:  large tables and comfortable chairs for family gatherings, comfortable sofas for movie night, and outdoor furniture for marshmallow roasts.  By positioning its products as a means to achieve the desired experiences, Ikea can more effectively connect with its customers.

Every company should strive to understand their customers better. Companies that prioritize in-depth knowledge of their customers are making a sound investment in their future.

No matter the size of your company, we can customize a research plan to help you understand your customers’ attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

You can read the story here:


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