IKEA’s got it

I love IKEA. As a kid it was where my sister and I played in the ballroom and my parents could relax in the restaurant. As a teen it was where I could daydream about my future apartments based on IKEA’s model suites. As a university student it became my go-to for every item of furniture and kitchenware I needed. The first months after I bought my first house were filled with IKEA dinners and trips to the As-Is section.

The IKEA catalogue is bested only by the latest Walrus and Food&Drink magazines in my opinion.

So call me biased if you want, but dang their new catalogue (and catalogue app) are something else.

We’ve all taken our turns mocking QR codes, those ugly squares that pretend they’ll take you somewhere special but mostly direct you to a non-mobile-friendly URL you could just have easily typed in to your browser yourself.

So as I dug in to my $1 breakfast at IKEA and flipped through their latest catalogue, I was intrigued by the little icon on some of their pages. Always curious about new techie things I held my phone over the page and BOOM I was taken directly to a video. No fiddly focusing or trying to get a QR code right in the middle of the cross-hairs of my QR code app. I tried a few other pages. Some took me to extended galleries of the product. One page gave me x-ray vision and allowed me to see through the cabinets, Superman-style.

The catalogue app could be considered gimmicky. I mean, did I really need to watch IKEA videos while reading the IKEA catalogue in the IKEA restaurant? Is creeping on the inside of someone’s cabinets really going to convince me to buy more? That I’m not sure. But as far as introducing a new consumer behaviour and foraying in to augmented/enhanced reality (a main topic at last year’s Untether.Talks conference), IKEA has done a great job.

I’m hoping if as this trend catches on, I can expect more interactivity, or even rewards. Imagined if there was a golden ticket or coupon hidden in the cabinets, revealed only if you scanned the page? Invitations to special events?

I want to commend IKEA on jumping in with this rather sleek approach to digital extras. I’m excited for what their next catalogue will bring, and how eventually this technology (or some version thereof) will be almost everywhere. It’s the future man. And I, for one…

What say you? Is this approach pure gimmick, or will it become the new norm?

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