Here, the brand has a complex identity
and there are many points of contact between the consumer
and the brand. Because the brand equals the company, all
stakeholders must perceive the brand (company) in the same
fashion. The company can no longer present one image to the
media and another to stockholders or consumers. Communications
from the firm must be integrated throughout all of their
operations. Communication is not, however, unidirectional.
It flows from the consumer to the firm as well as from the
firm to the consumer so that a dialog is established between
Any retailer might sell furniture, but only IKEA has organized its
stores to maximize the service component for shoppers. Through modular
planning of cabinets, furniture and other architectural features and
co-ordination of fabrics, colors and styles across departments, IKEA
enables shoppers to co-design and co-construct new concepts in living
and to customize their living spaces.
As the company becomes the brand, communication must expand to present
the same message at all of the points of contact. Numerous stakeholders
interact with different parts of the firm. Any individual could be
a consumer of the brand, a media reporter about the company, an owner
of the brand through stock purchase or a regulator of the company in
an elected, regulatory capacity.
Consumers have grown familiar with the IKEA concept of value, environmentalism
and feel comfortable dealing with this firm. The personality of IKEA
is communicated through staff and all communication points with the
consumer, whether advertising, internet sites or public relations activities.
The company must create a continuing dialogue with customers in all
of their potential roles.