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The Value Of What We Don’t Know

Six years. That’s how long it took IKEA to research the South Korean culture before they were ready to open the first store there. Six years of understanding what they didn’t know about the story Korean customers lived and wanted to believe—so that they could tell a story that resonated.

The goal wasn’t to reinvent what was working for the company, but to find commonalities, ways in which their values and solutions aligned with customers’ worldviews. Products can be the same but worldviews are unique. That’s why the IKEA catalogue is produced in 67 different versions.

Our expertise is worthless without understanding the context in which customers will experience it.

Image by Daniel Lee.

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