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In China IKEA has adopted the strategy of Think globally, act locally (various attributions).

IKEAS marketing strategy in China has been one of bringing the best of IKEA fromestablished markets, whilst expanding and adapting the range of products offered to attract the local clientele. It has had to adopt its position (compared to other markets), becoming a premium product seller in China, but has embraced strategies that create awareness of its product offerings even to the extent of encouraging (or at least supporting) social activity at its retail outlets.The expanded product range features both variants of products that are sold elsewhere whichare adapted for the local market (eg bed sizes), and the inclusion of products (or expansion of product ranges) that are offered exclusively in the Chinese market eg chopsticks, expanded ranges of meat cleavers and products for the Chinese new year etc.. These minor variants of the product range are likely to be disproportionately expensive (to source and manufacture), but are essential to engaging the local customer base. IKEAS Chinese expansion has followed the wealth of the Chinese with initial sites in Shanghai being followed by operations in Beijing, then further afield. This pattern follows the developing wealth of the Chinese nation, which is focussing on coastal areas, and then progressively moving inland this pattern has been followed by many retail and manufacturing organisations follow the money! Despite the potential opportunity presented by the market, the Chinese operation has yet to be profitable perhaps the ability to financially support a substantial operation that has yet to offer any payback confirms the faith and commitment that IKEA has in its current global- local strategy is its biggest marketing strategy it can afford to wait until either it improves its alignment with the market through further development of its product offering to address local needs, and / or until the local needs and ability to consume the IKEA products align with what IKEA is offering. Asia is westernising at a rapid pace assisted by the development of telecommunications and international interest and involvement in global events such as the Olympic Games, China introduced regional minimum wages in the period prior to the 2008 Summer Olympics (ZHOU, M 2008)) this increased consumer spend, and continues to fuel consumer ambition even if the minimum wage levels have not always been adhered to. In Japan and elsewhere, IKEAS marketing strategy has been to offer attractive, quality goods, from its standard range of products in a familiar way, at relatively low prices. This offering has suited the western markets that IKEA has addressed (prior to the expansion into China and Japan), and they have been able to implant operations with little or no modification of the product offering or service levels.It is likely that IKEA will experience further requirements to develop their offering to address further territories they have already dealt with the easy to enter, affluent, markets, and their entry into Asia has shown them that a one size fits all approach does not necessarily suit all countries things need to be tailored to suit, and that costs.

In China, IKEA should develop its marketing strategy in the following ways:

Given the rapid increase in consumerism and the westernisation of the Chinese market, there may be scope for IKEA to further localise the product offering, perhaps adding ranges that permit earlier engagement with aspirational customers then building revenue from an engaged customer base as their disposable income increases. IKEA might consider engaging the senior management from the territory thereby gaining more rapid insight into the market, and demonstrating its ongoing commitment to the territory. IKEA should seek to follow opportunities arising from legislative change eg minimum wage improvements, changes in control of retail organisations etc. IKEA should seek to follow the creep of capitalism that is generally spreading inland (with the exception of the cluster of activity around Beijing) this brings increased consumer ambition and ability to spend. Japan In Japan, IKEA should develop its marketing strategy in the following ways: Consistency IKEA has already had one aborted attempt at entry into the Japanese market if it seeks to make changes from hereon they should be subtle. Japan is a premium market, and as such, IKEA might want to consider moving its service levels and pricing further up market. They have, in many markets, including Japan, already introduced services to assist with the assembly of products they might consider adding premium finish assembled furniture. The Japanese have two distinct traits the first is great reverence for the ancient, and the second is that of the disposable society. This latter feature being typified by the rapid evolution of electronic products in fashion one day, throw away the next. IKEA products can never feature in the ancient and revered category, but they may wish to consider markets for short life disposable items and generating revenue through re-equipping the Japanese family as fashions change