Ikea has long been one of the most creative marketers in the world, whether it’s Spike Jonze’s legendary “Lamp” ad from 2002 or turning its entire 2021 catalog into a four-hour podcast this past month. Its ability to capture the zeitgeist is arguably one of the best in the world. Remember the crib ad that doubled as an at-home pregnancy test or Jon Snow’s cloak in Game of Thrones?
There has, however, long been a disconnect between that super power and the company’s products and e-commerce infrastructure, which has been slow to keep up with competitors. Over the course of the past year, that only became more pronounced. The Sweden-based retailer faced significant challenges meeting demand as its e-commerce business doubled, leading to widespread customer complaints.
Now the company has created the new position of Chief Creative Officer for Range and Marketing and Communication, a job that will bridge creative leadership across product development and marketing. By putting these two areas under a single creative lead, Ikea appears to be aiming to close the disconnect in its business by bridging the innovative thinking where the brand has consistently excelled, over to where it most often disappoints. The challenge now is to help the company catch up to other competitors like Walmart, Amazon, and Target in how it uses digital technology, particularly in e-commerce.