IKEA Beer: No Assembly Required

IKEA has been on a tear over the past few months, integrated some pretty fascinating marketing moves that invite consumers to think differently about the company than simply as a DIY furniture seller. Last week, the news came out that the Swedish home goods store was introducing a VIP airport lounge to travelers of Charles de Gaulle International Airport. Makes sense, right? Demonstrate how relaxing and comforting your furniture is to weary travelers at an unexpected opportunity. That’s just good marketing. But how about their latest move: selling…beer?

Öl Mörk Lager & Öl Ljus Lager

Yep, you heard that right, IKEA is now brewing and selling its own beer. Available only in the UK (for now, hopefully), this seems to me to be filling that gap of what to do when you’re building a coffee table and lose one of your screws in the carpet. Or when you have to stroll through the entire store just to pick up another matching coaster (let’s be honest, who goes to IKEA and only gets what they came for?).

At £1.75, the 4.7% beers would potentially retail here in the U.S. for $2.75. Apparently the spelling is not indicitive of the taste, as users of the beer rating website Untappd have given it a surprisingly high rating of 3.46/5.

I’ve always been a fan of brands that know their niche in the market and focusing on doing that as best as possible instead of casting a wide net. For instance, Nike sells athletic apparel, not computers. BMW sells cars, not toaster ovens. In other words, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Along those lines, a furniture maker selling beer seems a bit of a head-scratcher to me. But this offering falls in line with their Swedish meatball (the jury is still out on the pairing), a product that attests to the Swedish culture and improves the overall experience by injecting a differentiator into the purchasing process.

Bottom Line It For Me

Any furniture store could sell a Yuengling at their store and call themselves “different”, but IKEA took the critical step of running the beer through their unique personality strainer, ensuring that the beer fits the culture to the letter. The result, in my opinion, is an extremely well thought-out novelty brand reinforcement mechanism, not unlike the LED lights or crazy pens that you might find at a tradeshow.

This one just makes the purchase a bit easier.

What do you think about IKEA’s beer – good idea? Bad idea? Would your drink it? Share your thoughts below!