“Is IKEA china playing love games with its local competitor? IKEA opened
its first store in China in 1998. AIKA, one of its biggest local
competitors, uses a brand name that is disturbingly similar to that of
the Swedish giant.
Things get even worse when looking at the two companies’ local
brand names. IKEA’s Chinese name is YiJia (宜家), meaning something along
the lines of “a proper home”. AIKA’s Chinese name is AiJia (爱家),
meaning a “loving home” or “love home”. It sounds almost the same as
IKEA’s YiJia, but adds the “love” element.
A few weeks ago, IKEA opened a new store in Beijing. The campaign to
promote the new store features a new catchphrase – AiDeXinTiYan
(爱的新体验). The official English version is “more to love” but the literal
translation is closer to “a new experience of love”. Some may see this
as IKEA’s jab at AIKA, trying to appropriate the local competitor’s
Bilingual brands: Love in the time of IKEA
By Dror Poleg
In the News
“Ikea opened its second largest store in the world last week, where else, but in Beijing. The new complex, covering more than 26 acres, offers China’s new generation of homeowners 7,000 products—and at up to a 70% discounted price over what they’d cost in the United States. The price cuts aren’t hard to swallow for Ikea since a large portion of their inventory is manufactured in China.
According to Mei Fong in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Ikea has had to slash prices to interest Chinese bargain hunters, overcome the perception that western products are too expensive, and to stay competitive with knockoffs of their own products for sale in local stores. Low prices, and the lure of 12-cent ice cream cones, seem to be working. Annually, Ikea expects to serve 6 million customers at the Beijing location alone.”
In the News
“This short film was shot on April 12, 2006 at the opening of the new
IKEA store in Beijing. It’s the largest IKEA store in the world outside
Danwei on YouTube
Watch out Canton (Michigan:)
“Made in China by a foreign company, sold to Chinese at foreign prices.”
Zoom Zoom @ FLICKR
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