In a recent chat about this topic with Bart Karis, the former Dutch Chairman of both companies, he puts it like this – “An organisation needs an ultimate long-term goal that is aspirational, and a clear and simple business idea on how to pursue this goal. The ultimate goal of IKEA is to contribute to a better life for as many people as possible. The business idea is to democratise design and to make well-designed products affordable and available for the majority of people. The brand identity connects all daily growth activities with the ultimate long-term goal. It forms an umbrella which everything the company does should fit underneath. It builds inner pride and puts things in motion in the right direction.”
The risks of growth hacking without good branding
The growth hacking process starts with brainstorming many ideas inspired by user interviews, usability tests, analytics, and UX testing. In this brainstorming phase, it is crucial for growth hackers to have a clear and in-depth understanding of the purpose of the company and the idea behind the brand. If this understanding is absent, growth hacking experiments come no further than conversion tactics, incremental changes, and cheap sales triggers. Also, not taking the purpose or reputation to heart in growth hacking can carry a huge business risk. A single growth hack that turns out wrong can ruin trust or reputation that took years to build. Harry Dekker from Unilever recently stated: “Just as in politics and institutions, trust in brands has fallen dramatically in recent years – and trust is hard to gain but easy to lose.” Tom Kollee, Lead Growth Hacker from the Talent Institute, argues that growth hackers should sometimes consider using mechanisms, such as white label testing, to enable them to experiment without harming the brand in case the experiment fails.