Swedish home furniture giant Ikea’s commuter bike, ‘Sladda’ is another brand reputation proof point.
Ikea has built their reputation on providing affordable stylish urban living. However, in the past couple of years, the brand has stepped up its product development to extend its dominance in urban living. New products are now designed to influence not just what’s in your home but a broader sense of urban living including how you get to and from it.
The Sladda bike is one such product development that steps away from the traditional Ikea home furniture. Sladda was launched late 2016 in Australia and has just been introduced to the US market.
When brands venture beyond their natural area of expertise there is always a risk they could damage the brand. For Ikea, the risk is they are not bike experts and the market is saturated with both category experts, sporting and discount retailers who all have more experience in selling bikes.
However, in creating their bike, Ikea have kept their brand essence at the core of the product development. It is all about smart and affordable Swedish design for living. The Sladda bike also is another proof point for the brand’s sustainability and better living commitments.
The Ikea Sladda bike is now available in Australia. Prices start at $649 for Ikea Family members ($799 regular) for the basic bike which makes it fairly price competitive with other affordable bikes. However, it’s when you add the accessories that the bike really comes into its own.
Assembly of the bike might be a bit trickier than the average flat pack furniture – but then again many discount stores expect you to assemble the bike. Product quality and safety will be important but the real test for Ikea will no doubt be in after sales service. Bikes need regular maintenance and servicing, especially if they are used for regular commuting. It’s probably not practical for Ikea to set up bike repair shops in their stores but maybe they could develop partnerships with local bike repair stores.
Michael is Managing Partner and Strategy Director at Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years’ experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in unlocking the strategic power of your brand to create a differentiated, compelling and authentic brand proposition that will engage all your audiences. Michael has extensive experience working across Australia and the Middle East working with leading Australian and International organisations across just about every sector.