IKEA’s Iconic Catalog Gets Interactive

Never one to rest on its KLIPPAN, IKEA gives new digital dimension to its catalog.

November 13, 2012
Fast Company
By Paula Bernstein

Given that it’s IKEA, you might call the newly launched first-ever seasonal catalog a digital smorgasbord.

Dubbed “Celebrate Brilliantly,” the 31-page interactive catalog–released a week before Thanksgiving in time for the holiday season–features recipes, video clips, interactive “style solutions,” and social media integration. It’s intended to replicate the experience of exploring an IKEA store (minus the Swedish meatballs).

“The brand is built on a brick and mortar experience,” says Phil Edelstein, manager of the brand strategy group at Brownstein Group, the Philadelphia-based agency that produced the digital seasonal catalog. “You’re surrounded by an endless array of products that you want to touch and feel and engage with. The challenge was creating that experience when you’re not in the store.”

Unlike the stores, which are almost overwhelming by design, the interactive catalog is streamlined and user-friendly. If you like the white Karlstad sofa you see in the interactive catalog, click on it to like it on Facebook (552 people have liked it so far), pin it on Pinterest, buy it online, or add it to your shopping list.

There are a variety of interactive features: Use your mouse to “pull down” a virtual window shade to give a living room a new look; slide a button to turn an “every day” room into a “holiday room,” complete with Santa throw pillows and a Fejka artificial potted plant (for $14.99); find out how to make Lussebulle (saffron buns) from scratch; and get holiday entertaining tips.

IKEA plans to produce three more seasonal catalogs next year.

“We’re hoping that it will finally create another channel where people can experience online that wonderful experience they get in the store in a really powerful, really interactive fashion,” says Edelstein. “”We didn’t want to craft something that just sold you kitchens.”

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