Ikea hacking has been on the rise during the pandemic. People spend more and more time at home due to WFH methods and self-quarantine. According to Hustle newsletter survey, more than 40% of their readers tried to reconstruct or revamp their furniture in the past year. This upcycling movement has been booming since 2004 and it is totally aligned with the Ikea core idea — DIY (do it yourself). But what the hell is Ikea hacking?
Ikea hacking is any form of upgrading, personalizing, repurposing or customizing pieces of Ikea furniture. And the reason why it becomes a trend is that customers are tired of mass-produced product and eager to differentiate their own pieces of furniture. Some turn their Ikea shelf into electric guitar pedalboard; and some convert the headboard into dog gate for their pet. Giving a new life to a furniture sounds really cool and you can definitely show it off when you chit-chat with your friends in the dining table.
And you can see Ikea hacking is everywhere in every social media. If you put it as a hashtag, there are millions of videos, posts or images. Also, more and more entrepreneurs realize there are unsatisfied customer needs here (sense the opportunity) so they end up with creating lots of startups and providing the consulting service to customers.
However, Ikea hacking has not been Ikea’s core value. There are some bloggers, supporters of Ikea hacking, even receive the Cease & desist (C&D) from Ikea in 2014. Ikea mentioned those Ikea hacking websites violate their trademark and unlawfully gain commercial (ad) profit. From my perspective, Ikea doesn’t need to send the C&D letter, Ikea only need to acquire the website. Let me introduce the reasons.
First, Ikea has been criticized for its concept of “fast furniture”. If they can own the Ikea hacking community, they can encourage customers to revamp their old furniture and extend the fast furniture’s lifespan. Secondly, if you control the community and website, you can even do lots of marketing campaign such as upselling campaign, cross-selling campaign and other promotional campaign. Thirdly, maybe Ikea can connect its buy-back program to this community and build up a used furniture e-commerce platform. Thirdly, those bloggers are die-hard Ikea fans. If you plan to sue your fans, it is gonna hurt all fan’s feeling.
All in all, as a 80-year-old furniture giant, Ikea still also have a big room for improvement in terms of business scope and sustainability issues. Let’s just wait and see how it turn around the market again.