Even the streetnames are branded here
It's a bit late to write about the subject, but last week I've been to Älmhult, Sweden. Together with the clients of IKEA we went to the village where the first IKEA store started. And we stayed in the IKEA hotel. Now guess what kind of furniture they have in there...
Remarkable about Älmhult is that everything is IKEA there. Not only the store, but also the IKEA museum, the Concept Shop, the prototype factory, the studio and the main office is there (just to mention a few things). Not less than 80% of the inhabitants of this little town is working for IKEA. I felt like I was in IKEA-Disneyland.
You learn so much about the furniture brand, that it's almost brainwashing. After the trip, I realized that this is the first time in my career that I get to know a client so well. In most agencies the deadlines are so strict that there's simply no time to go to the factory or to do an elaborate study. After all, with all the internet-access you have all the information you need for an assignment at your fingertips. But this doesn't necessarily mean it's a good thing. You lose touch with the core of a brand when you only see it in browserpages.
If every client would give creatives a chance to get to know them in the way that IKEA does, there would be a lot less misunderstanding. And better work will come of it.