One of the most powerful illustrations of corporate adaptability is for a company to disrupt its own business model or core offering. This is done in order to stay relevant in the face of changing lifestyles, technologies, and market conditions, requiring extreme strategic flexibility. A case in point was Apple’s move to kill the iPod in 2007, just seven years after its launch, by introducing the iPhone. And Ikea, the Swedish furniture giant, has given us another great example.
One of the principal components of Ikea’s market-driving strategy that originated in the 1950’s was the idea of self-assembly by customers. This not only helped ignite the DIY movement, but also saved key operational costs for Ikea (storage, shipping). Fast forward to today, when people are no longer enamored by DIY, and instead crave to outsource any tasks they can. So, in September 2017, Ikea acquired TaskRabbit, a company that lets users hire temporary workers to deliver purchases and assemble furniture. TaskRabbit services will be available to customers in Ikea stores nationwide in the U.S. in the coming months. The really smart thing here is that Ikea did not stop selling unassembled furniture, which would increase operating costs. Rather, it now offers the additional service of assembling them – which is a new revenue source.
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