- Ikea has won Linus Karlsson as Chief Creative Officer (CCO), a newly created position that, according to a company announcement, includes design, product development, and marketing and communication.
- Karlsson has been advising the Swedish household goods retailer on projects since 2012 and has been a guest speaker, creative director and content partner at times. Now he has the task of developing a creative vision for the entire product and communication range of Ikea and at the same time acting as a motivator for employees and cooperation partners.
- With the appointment, Ikea aims to keep pace with fast-paced consumer trends for households, with the pandemic setting expectations for the category back. The news offers another signal that marketers are finding new footsteps in corporate governance as companies attempt to balance short-term business goals with greater branding ambitions.
Ikea is rounding off its marketing leadership with the introduction of a CCO overseeing several key functions for the brand, including product development and communication. Hybrid marketing roles have become more common in recent years as business has shifted to digital and data-driven channels that can be more closely tied to sales results.
A CCO could help Ikea streamline its operations while better serving consumer needs, which are changing rapidly due to the pandemic that has held people together at home and in remote work environments. Product development and marketing have increasingly grown together in retail, resulting in lively celebrity collaborations and capsule collections. In 2019, Ikea debuted a limited line with Off-White and Louis Vuitton designer Virgil Abloh.
On the operational side, Ikea recently increased its focus on e-commerce, a channel it had previously adopted more slowly than its competitors. Some critics have noted that Ikea’s online shopping offerings are lacking. Other changes to Ikea’s strategy include the sunset of the catalog, which has been in production for seven decades late last year. The retailer, by and large, is pushing to become “more digital and accessible”.
Karlsson, who has gained a solid reputation in the agency space for his work in stores like Crispin Porter Bogusky and Mother, a company he co-founded, sees greater convergence between product development and marketing, he told the Wall Street Journal in an interview about the new one Meeting. He pointed out that silos can lead to weaknesses in an organization.
Karlsson’s duties speak for how marketers are increasingly acting as internal motivators and implementing traditional messaging strategies for consumers. At the same time, Ikea has made a greater claim to purpose-oriented marketing that addresses current social issues. Earlier this month, the brand developed a digital card game for Instagram Stories that focuses on gender inequality in household chores, an inequality exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.