This article describes how and why the US division of IKEA uses social listening. IKEA is European company and therefore their products are designed to satisfy the needs of the European customer. But American customers have different needs and therefore IKEA must understand these and design its furniture accordingly. IKEA is now considered to be mainly a store for young people, but they want to attract other customers and enlarge their market share. To achieve their goals they use social listening.
They gather feedback from their employees, visit their homes and ask people about their dreams and way of living. Thanks to this strategy, they have identified that American customers want more services and how their furniture should look like. For example, Europeans prefer smaller beds but Americans like king-size beds.
The main thing to realize is that just because a product is successful in one country it does not mean that it will be successful in different country. In international business is even more important to listen to your customers and design your products to satisfy their needs.