If you have ever visited an IKEA store, you have most likely wondered why simple products like a cushion would be named FJÄDERMOLN…
Or why a charcoal grey corner sofa would be called FRIHETEN…
Sure, IKEA is a Swedish brand, so it makes sense for the company to instill some Swedish heritage into the brand.
But, as it turns out, this actually isn’t why IKEA furniture is named the way it is.
In fact, the real reason why IKEA has such a unique naming approach is all due to the founder of the brand, Ingvar Kamprad, who was dyslexic.
Here is how it came about…
When Ingvar Kamprad first started IKEA by delivering furniture by bicycle to local customers (yes, they were flat packs from the very beginning!), he started using numbers to identify the furniture names.
However, not long after implementing this system, Kamprad had trouble remembering the codes for each product, which turned out to be a sign of his dyslexia.
So, instead of coming up with a ledger to keep track of the furniture codes, Kamprad instead used his disability to his advantage and took a more creative and visual approach for naming his products.
Since Ingvar Kamprad still needed some type of organization and order for categorizing the products, the system he ended up creating was simple, beautiful, and ingenious.
Here is how Kamprad created his naming system.
- Large furniture items would be given names of large Swedish towns or cities
- Chairs and desks would have names of common Swedish men’s names
- Garden furniture was named after Swedish islands
As a result of this new naming system, Kamprad has a much easier time remembering furniture names as he was able to visualize each product to places and people he was familiar with.
So what started out as a very personal and creative approach to organizing his business, has now turned into an iconic part of the IKEA brand that carries on to this day.