As demonstrated in
IKEA’s case, digital marketing plays a key role in enhancing a company’s
interaction with customers.  Blogging
platforms form the primary location where IKEA’s customers are driven to, from
other mediums. The interaction leads to increased purchase from the company’s
online store. Some of the features of the blogging platforms that enhance the
customers’ brand experience include photo galleries, story-sharing community,
voting and product suggestion.  When it
comes to social media, Facebook serves as the main discussion creator while
directing participants to the company’s online store and blogging platforms.
Some of the strategies used to create a brand experience include limiting
tweets to allow for Facebook discussions, linking hashtags to IKEA’s blogging
platforms as well as keeping users interested and informed throughout their
online shopping period. This is in line with what Schmitt (1999) describes as
an “affective experience” (FEEL). 
According to Schmitt (1999), FEEL marketing pleases the inner emotions
and feelings of customers with the aim of producing “affective experiences”.
Affective experiences range from somewhat positive moods that are associated
with a brand and strong pride and joy emotions (Schmitt, 1999).  SEO in digital marketing involves tracking
specific keywords like the company’s name, “IKEA” and providing Google Ads in
the search to help drive consumers to the online store or blogging platforms. 

The adoption of
customer-experience provision by IKEA is a feature that has given the company a
competitive advantage over its business rivals. The company has paid attention
to both esthetic experience and escapist experience. For esthetic experience,
IKEA ensures that its customers have a place to sit when they visit the
company’s showrooms. This is also demonstrated in the company’s digital
platforms whereby beautiful colors that capture the beauty of IKEA’s products
are used. For instance, the use of attractive colors for the company’s blogging
platforms and social media provides customers with the esthetic experience,
which is recommended by Pine and Gilmore (1998).

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Additionally, for
the escapist experience, IKEA has also done efforts to ensure that its
customers enjoy the experience. This type of experience gives the customers an
opportunity to escape their identity for some time and act outside what they
are used to. IKEA provides its clients with this type of experience through
roadshows and themed events. In the digital marketing world, the company also
performs well. For instance, the company utilized a Facebook page named “I want
to sleepover in IKEA” whereby the firm’s marketing department decided to make
the wish of one hundred lucky consumers come true by giving them the opportunity
to spend a night in IKEA’s warehouses. The guests were offered with sleepover
goodie bags, slippers, and masks. Additionally, they were offered massages as
they spent time with a reality TV star (Prange 2016). This experience served as
a key digital marketing strategy as it was followed by numerous amounts of
press which created full engagement with IKEA’s customers through the escapist
event. The whole experience kept the lucky customers outside their normal
routine hence creating a memorable experience.

Recommendations

Today, many people
have changed the way they interact with brands whereby consumers are connected
through various digital devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets in a
larger extent and this trend is expected to continue in the future. Based on
these developments, there are several recommendations for future actions in
regard to the digital brand experience that can be made. From the experience
economy in which value is considered part of the brand experiences, there
should be engaging activities for better customer experience (Pine &
Gilmore, 1998). This implies that there is more than getting the consumer’s
attention in marketing. Therefore, it is recommendable that in the future,
companies such as IKEA should give proper attention to customer engagement to
evoke consumer collaboration and participation. Such engagement can be achieved
by making the best use of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence
and virtual spaces in the digital marketing world.

To further enhance
future digital brand experience, companies can also consider the application of
games. For example, IKEA can come up with advergames that involve the
advertisement of products in the form of games. Gamification is another action
that can be adopted by a company whereby game elements of game design can be
used in the promotion of “gameful” experiences to clients in non-leisure
contexts. Gamification and advergames are areas that can be explored in future
to help companies such as IKEA enhance their brand experience through game-like
interactions.