The Brand Digest | IKEA

Welcome to The Brand Digest, this is an internal Elixir project where we explore the reasoning behind a brand and how they communicate their brand values.


Founded in 1943, by Ingvak Kamprad when he was just 17 years old. The name IKEA comes from taking his initials with the initials of where he grew up, Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd. IKEA’s intentions are to help more people live a better life at home, one way of marketing their mission is not only by using a simple yet well thought out logo but by creating a whole experience. They continuously express simplicity through their brand.

As well as highlighting the colours of the swedish national flag, the blue and yellow colour palette has a strong meaning. The blue represents trust & excellence, whilst the yellow expresses happiness, optimism and imagination. I think it’s safe to say that IKEA have done simplicity at it’s very best. Not many changes have been needed since it all began. A symbol that is bold yet shows elegance, creativity and history.

IKEA goes way beyond just the logo, it’s an experience and they do it so well. Founder, Ingvak Kamprad, struggled with dyslexia from an early age, hence the unusual names that are given to the products. He decided that it’d be easier to do it this way rather than trying to remember the order of product codes. Instead, IKEA has a team of product namers, who assign names from a database of Swedish words.


The key for the IKEA Swedish dictionary:

  • Bathroom articles = Names of Swedish lakes and bodies of water
  • Bed textiles = Flowers and plants
  • Beds, wardrobes, hall furniture = Norwegian place names
  • Bookcases = Professions, Scandinavian boy’s names
  • Bowls, vases, candle and candle holders = Swedish place names, adjectives, spices, herbs, fruits and berries
  • Boxes, wall decoration, pictures and frames, clocks = Swedish slang expressions, Swedish place names
  • Children’s products = Mammals, birds, adjectives
  • Desks, chairs and swivel chairs = Scandinavian boy’s names
  • Fabrics, curtains = Scandinavian girl’s names
  • Garden furniture = Scandinavian islands
  • Kitchen accessories = Fish, mushrooms and adjectives
  • Lighting = Units of measurement, seasons, months, days, shipping and nautical terms, Swedish place names
  • Rugs = Danish place names
  • Sofas, armchairs, chairs and dining tables = Swedish place names


Sometimes the designers propose creative names for their creations, but typically the naming committee sticks to a well-defined scheme. As you can see, IKEA likes to follow of the brand theme to the very end. Everything is perfectly thought out and each element has a ‘why’ because of their continuation of clever branding and well thought out design. Not only has IKEA created an easy life for people, but they’ve turned it into a whole experience. From online to in-store. From furniture to meat balls, you can make the IKEA trip a whole day out. With a simple path to follow around the store, allows the consumer to see things that they’d not thought about buying. The path actually causes around 67% of purchases in IKEA to be impulse buys.