couple test chairs in Ikea

Spruce up Your Brand with Interior Design PR

As in the world of fashion, the world of interior design is fickle and fast moving. What’s de rigueur for interiors one season can be old hat the next – remember flock wallpaper? Trends come and go, so you need to move with the times.

Whether you’re a national retailer, luxury product manufacturer, boutique homeware brand, or interiors company, a well thought out and innovative PR campaign can position you as an industry expert and thought-leader – enabling you to get your creative ideas in front of the people that matter.

A textbook example of a successful PR campaign is IKEA’s ‘Happy to Bed’ PR Campaign, from 2011.

The Swedish homeware behemoth wanted to promote its range of beds and establish itself as an industry expert in the ‘life at home in the bedroom’ space. It carried out research on customers’ sleeping habits and discovered that many were too embarrassed to test a mattress properly in store. To take away the stigma and encourage customers to view IKEA stores as places where they can get advice during the furnishing and design process, the brand embarked on a unique PR campaign.

Engaging with fans

The campaign originated from clever monitoring of social media. IKEA spotted a group set up by avid fans on Facebook called ‘I Wanna Have a Sleepover in Ikea’. It had over 100,000 followers.

IKEA saw an opportunity to make their dreams come true via their ‘Happy to Bed’ campaign, and ran a Facebook competition called ‘IKEA’s Big Sleepover’. The prize was a night’s stay at the Lakeside IKEA store for 100 lucky entrants and journalists.

A good night’s sleep

Once inside for the night, the competition winners were treated to relaxing massages, manicures, bedtime stories and warm drinks. Sleep experts were on hand to answer questions, and IKEA mattress professionals showed them how to select the perfect bed and linens.

The inclusion of sleep and mattress experts was a clever touch, as it offered something tangible and valuable to participants, and helped establish IKEA as an authoritative brand in their minds.

As a final sweetener, participants received goodie bags, which contained branded eye masks, slippers, a towel and midnight snacks.

Smart PR

IKEA was smart enough to see that its fans had self-organised into this group, so all they had to do was find 100 lucky fans. 500 people applied for a chance to take part in the sleepover, and the video amassed over 32,000 views. The Lakeside store also became number one for year-on-year sales growth in bedrooms.

From a PR perspective, the campaign generated over 190 pieces of coverage in national publications, regional titles, on radio, and online. As part of a wider social media campaign, the sleepover helped IKEA gain an extra 1,624 likes on Facebook.

Not only was it a great PR stunt, but it also gave consumers time to look at and try out different products. Considering we spend an average of five minutes choosing a bed in store, the sleepover offered fans a unique opportunity to try out a bed for a whole night.

Some clever thinking, as well as recognising a brilliant opportunity to engage with fans, meant that IKEA created an event that got people talking.

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