Featured case: IKEA – Global Brand Communication

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The case

Who – the protagonist

Gabriela Díaz Guardamino, IKEA Ibérica Marketing Director.


Founded by Swede Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, IKEA, the ready-to-assemble furniture chain, has since gone on to open over 300 stores in 38 countries.


There’s no doubt that IKEA has achieved phenomenal success – the late Kampard made the Forbes Billionaires List – but how did the multinational form these strong relationships with consumers, and how did IKEA Ibérica regain market leadership with consumers who began to feel distant?


IKEA has been in Spain for 22 years, and for the first 10-15 consumers were in love with the brand, but a study in 2012 found they were no longer all the rage, not helped by the economic recession at the time.


Spain boasts 11 IKEA stores, with three located in the capital of Madrid.

Key quote

“In the end relationships between brands and consumers are like marriages, so when IKEA came to Spain it was like when you meet someone and fall head over heels in love with them, it surpassed all expectations and was truly a revolution and a phenomenon.” – said Gabriela Díaz Guardamino, IKEA Ibérica Marketing Director.

What next?

With a change in strategy to play in the same arena as their competitiors, IKEA Ibérica slowly regained the trust of the consumer, but how many other global brands have also been in this situation? How did they react?

Interested in finding out more?

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IKEA – Global Brand Communication
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Teaching note

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Case trailer clip

The author

Carmen Abril Barrie

Carmen discusses the benefits of multimedia cases, the popularity of IKEA as a case subject and making her cases stand out from the crowd.

ikeaPopularity of multimedia

Carmen explained: “I think the possibility to interact with classmates and the professor, and the opportunity to access information from different sources and formats, makes the learning process more entertaining and effective. Taking advantage of technology and using it effectively is something students appreciate a lot.”

Holistic approach

Carmen continued: “I teach multimedia cases differently since they provide me with the opportunity to access and offer different types of material to the students. I like the possibility of interacting and sharing the class feedback with students in real time.

“For me, multimedia cases are more holistic by nature.”

Greater engagement

She said: “Students are learning and being entertained at the same time with multimedia cases; this generates more engagement and improved interactions between themselves and the professor. The classroom discussion is enhanced by the interactions that are catalysed by the multimedia itself.”

ikeaPopularity of IKEA

Carmen added: “IKEA is what we describe as a loving brand. They have created a unique brand proposition and personality that not only offers good solutions to customers, but also makes them happy.

“They are present around the globe and could be relevant to any customer, therefore it is easy to feel empathy with the subject.”

Making a case stand out

She concluded: “I believe good cases stand out by themselves. Good cases are built around relevant questions, interesting brands and contemporary problems, and I think IKEA: Global Brand Communication accomplishes all three.”

About the author

Carmen Abril Barrie is Professor of Innovation and Marketing Management at IE Business School.


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