By Ethan Thomas, Communications Management Intern
IKEA marketers hit the nail on the head with their most recent fundraising efforts. They turned children’s drawings into well-made soft animal toys. They combined several key marketing techniques into a very impactful worldwide campaign. They involved consumers, raised money for a good cause and showed the integration of the entire process.
IKEA only has a small market for selling plush animal toys. It makes sense. Drag your kids through the maze of home furnishings, then reward them with a cute and lovable toy! But this goes beyond that. The company has successfully involved a consumer that many would ignore in the furniture industry: children. IKEA uses children’s drawings as the inspiration for new plush toys and recognizes those kids for their drawing efforts. Fantastic. I may be generalizing, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s every child under 12’s dream to have a toy he or she personally made.
What really stands out, though, is how IKEA is using these toys to raise money for schools in need. Every year, the IKEA Foundation donates €1 for every soft toy sold in participating IKEA stores in November and December. The donation goes to Save the Children and UNICEF and is spent on children’s educational projects. It’s refreshing to see a company take up a cause that’s outside of its business interests. It exemplifies how IKEA wants to have a global reach with its fundraising efforts.
There are many ways to reach a consumer. What’s great about this campaign is the focus on the specific product and the organizations IKEA wants to support. Look through every single video produced by the company and you will not see one mention of their other furniture products. IKEA’s focus is solely on raising money for Save the Children and UNICEF. Kudos to you, IKEA. Many organizations would try to turn it into a campaign that might as well say, “Look at us donating money. Aren’t we awesome? Come on. That’s pretty awesome of us!” Through positive engagement and strategy, the company effectively removes that notion and creates a greater connection to its audience.
Honestly, we’re all kids at heart and I believe that’s why a campaign like this will resonate with so many. Here’s a quick tip though: Relate and connect to your consumer through an integrated, positive and emotion-triggering strategy, and you’re likely to do pretty well for yourself.