IKEA has a new line coming. Its name is UPPLEVA and it is essentially a home entertainment solution with a natural approach to smart TV. A perfect choice for a company whose brand is about simple, clean and designed.
The new design features a TV connected to a stand. Within the stand are speakers, media players and hidden wires while the entire unit is controlled by a single remote. The idea is both interesting and absolutely fitting for the IKEA brand.
Much of the smart TV discussion is about how to revolutionize television, such as adding 3D, increasing refresh rates and pixel density, etc. The discussion has always been about how to make TV smart rather than focusing on making the viewer smart. IKEA, however, is brand aware enough to realize the latter is where equity lies. Herein lies the secret sauce of successful brands: Focus.
When we harp on brands such as Best Buy, it is because the moves they make are not single-minded and, therefore, not very meaningful. Think about the paradox of choice (where the fewer choices you have the less remorse you have for the decision). For many brands, they try to be everything to everybody which means, in the end, they are for nobody.
For example, as much I think UPPLEVA is on brand strategy, it is not for me. I am a bit too much of an audiophile to not have complete control over my audio setup. When it comes to my home “mainframe,” I end up making the cords and other materials into “beautiful complexity.” The fact that IKEA does not let segments of the market like me affect choices like the UPPLEVA means it understands it’s just as important to know who you are not for as it is who you are for.
IKEA’s new UPPLEVA TV solution may or may not be a big seller. But when I see it, it is simple, clean and designed. That constant commitment to the focus of the brand is what makes it so recognizable and coveted.
A telltale sign of the power of a brand, especially in retail, is its scarcity. The more scarce something is the more it is desired. Too often, companies overextend themselves. (In another market, think of Krispy Kreme or Boston Market.) The same cannot be said for the IKEA’s and Apple’s of the world. So while the UPPLEVA might not be the TV for me, I am still looking forward to experiencing it on my next visit to IKEA.