Strategy and Sausages:
A British Strategic Planner in Germany
Friday, 9 June 2017
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
Passing off and faking usually involves a one-way traffic: downwards on the price scale. But a month ago - or so - an amusing story made a bit of buzz on social media as the designer Balenciaga brought out a tote bag costing around $2,000 that appeared remarkably similar to the famous IKEA FRAKTA blue bag which costs, well, about a two thousandth of that.
IKEA responded in typical IKEA style - see above. This response has all the IKEA hallmarks - a quirky sense of humour and a matter-of-fact pride about the product - and its low price.
The story could have stopped there, but it didn't. It could well have been IKEA's participation that fuelled a whole host of hacks, some of which are more fun and comfortable-looking than others. You'll see what I mean if you click here.
And the great thing is that IKEA didn't walk away from the party. They stayed, and joined in with the fun. It's difficult to tell which of those ideas come direct from IKEA and which from the outside hackers, and it doesn't matter. IKEA have even made a short how-to film on the subject:
And maybe the FRAKTA bag deserves celebration in its own right, too, as a symbol of what IKEA stands for. Maybe it should become a film star. It just so happens that IKEA have thought of that too:
When I was little, I wanted to be a spy. I got off to a good start, studying Psychology at Trinity College, Cambridge but somehow got side-tracked into the wonderful world of advertising and marketing.
My children's books: