Retail Catalogue Branding. IKEA is bringing print catalogues to life


Most brands are moving away from print to digital media as their main communication tool. Ikea is taking a different approach, they are using digital tools which enhance the print experience.

The way IKEA uses Augmented Reality (AR) technology in their print catalogue is a great example of brands innovating. The technology works by downloading the Ikea catalogue app and using this app in tandem with the printed catalogue. By holding your device over certain pages in the catalogue you get extra images, videos or even a sneak peak behind doors.

Screen shot 2013-07-30 at 2.45.48 PM

AR technology has been around for the last few years. Big brands such as BMW (BMW Z4 drifting on your desk), Volkswagen (VW Beetle flying out from the billboard), and Starbucks (Animated holiday season coffee cups), have already taken advantage of using AR technology in their advertising and successfully engaged with their audience.

AR sample collage

Ikea uses AR technology to create a new brand experience by allowing customers to experience the product at real size in their own living space via a mobile device. Furniture, unlike clothing and accessories that you can try on in store, requires imagination to see how it may look in the context. This brand experience plays a crucial part in product purchase process, because it gives confidence to the customer with the product they want to buy.

In addition, the customer not only gets to experience the product in the space, they can see an additional layer by adding people and other furniture pieces. This gives a rich experience to the customer and allows Ikea to showcase more products from the catalogue.

What differentiates Ikea from other big brands is the use of AR technology in their print catalogue instead of advertising campaigns. Ikea manages to sell its products in a way that is relevant to our daily lives, which can’t be achieved in standard advertising channels. This adds whole new meaning to both the brand and the technology.

What I have learned from this catalogue is that it is not only important to know what customers think about your brand it is important to understand how they interact with your product or service.


Hang Io
Learner of brands… and enthusiastic intern.

Post a comment

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,