The gap between brand and reality

The gap between brand and reality is something we talk about a lot with our clients.

IKEA fan

I was a fan of IKEA. I think their business model is fantastic and they seem to be a company that has a sense of purpose.

Not an IKEA fan

Since last week I had to revise that completely. We had a new kitchen installed in Spain. We picked IKEA because we were fans of the brand. We had expectations because of their brand.

Maximum friction

What followed is a litany of mistakes, an old kitchen dumped in the community garden for a few days, incompetence, non-communication (you can’t get customer service on the phone and the installer did not speak English), bad, bad (no) customer service, missing parts, parts that don’t fit,  and a week later we have kitchen that is still incomplete and appliances not working. Including the cooker, which is sort of fundamental to a kitchen.


Even the pans we bought had to be brought back because the screws did not fit. To put insult to injury, returning those pans took over an hour in a queue in customer service to resolve. There were 50 people queueing before me when I pulled the number. Which means that I must not be the only one with complaints, no wonder they can’t answer the phone.

It was a classic example of EVERYTHING going wrong with a customer experience.

The contrast

Contrast that with a company called Envirocare in Spain, which at the same time installed a new boiler, a new electrical panel and helped us out with some of the plumbing the IKEA installer could not manage (!!!!). Responsive, easy, frictionless and with a bit of delight.  The way customer experience should be.

Suggested reading for IKEA

I am going to hand over a number of books to the CEO of IKEA in Spain:

It might help. I even throw in a free Bookbuzz session.

sensemaking cover

Why reinvent the wheel and why not learn from the best business thinkers? And why not use that as a platform to make better business decisions? Alone or as a team.

Sense making; morality, humanity, leadership and slow flow. A book about the 14 books about the impact and implications of technology on business and humanity.

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Ron Immink

I help companies by developing an inspiring and clear future perspective, which creates better business models, higher productivity, more profit and a higher valuation. Best-selling author, speaker, writer.

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