The IKEA Effect 🧠: 4 easy ways to apply it to your business

The “IKEA Effect” is a psychological phenomenon that can be a game-changer for your marketing efforts. Named after the world-famous furniture retailer, the IKEA Effect refers to the tendency of individuals to place a higher value on objects that they had a hand in creating. But how can you leverage the IKEA Effect to enhance your own marketing efforts?

Let’s explore together…

The IKEA Effect. How to apply it to your business to capture the hearts and minds of your customers.

The IKEA effect: If you build it, you will love it

The “IKEA effect” was identified by three researchers in 2011.

In their first study, the researchers asked subjects to assemble IKEA furniture. When researchers priced the items people had assembled against completed IKEA furniture that they hadn’t put together, people said that they were willing to pay 63% more for what they had assembled themselves. Which is huge?

But why?

There are a few reasons:

  1. Pride in the demonstration of competence & skills
  2. Control over cost savings

Despite needing to invest manual effort into building the item, the cost-saving compared to buying fully constructed furniture gives you a sense of satisfaction.

This is why people more likely to show off pictures of their Hello Fresh meals in comparison to their take away dinners on the Gram – because there’s a sense of pride that comes from preparing something with your own hands.

This concept isn’t new. It actually steams from the psychological term “effort justification”, which is when you value something more when you put more effort into it.

So, how can you apply the IKEA Effect to your business?

1. Incentivise your buyers

If your product requires some assembly or there is the option for personalisation (e.g colour choices, engraving), your customers a likely going to want to show off their haul and handy work. Think Hello Fresh, Katie Loxton (personalised clutch bags) and Monica Vinader

To harness this, you can do a few things.

Find ways to incentivise your customers to share their purchases on social media:

  1. You could offer a special discount or gift if they post and tag your brand on social media
  2. You could create an affiliate program so they could share your brand with their friends and family
  3. You could create an area on your website, showcasing all your buyers photos, videos and reviews

Remember, User Generated Content (UGC) serves as powerful form of social proof, as other potential customers can see real people enjoying and proudly sharing their recent purchases. UGC also enhances the authenticity of a product and helps to create a positive brand perception.

2. Build a collaborative community

Create a sense of community around your brand by letting your customers collectively influence new product launches or design updates. By inviting them to participate in some of the decision-making can foster and create a deeper emotional connection with your community. Inviting feelings of loyalty, and being valued by your brand.

You could do this really simply by creating polls on Instagram or surveys via your email subscribers. You could also create focus groups, asking your most loyal customers for their personal opinions. Bringing people in to these big decisions, can be a game changer for transitioning customers into raving fans.

3. Empower your customers

This is a big one and really harnesses the concept of sustainability up-cycling.

A great example of this is Amaranthine Skincare. Their amazing palm oil free products come in these lovely blue glass pots which, once you have finished the products, have multiple purposes and can be easily up-cycled. To embrace this, Sarah will often show customer photos of how people are re-using theirs jars – e.g tea-light holders.

By develop engaging content that inspires customers to take an active role in their product experience (even after they have used and enjoyed the product) is a great way to empower your customers to get creative, and do their bit for the planet!

You could create DIY videos, step-by-step guides, or tutorials showcasing how to assemble, style, or repurpose your products creatively.

4. Embrace gamification to strengthen the IKEA Effect

Introducing gamification elements to your ecommerce platform can help your customers embrace that feeling of creating something of value. To do this, you could implement loyalty programs, point systems, or badges for various achievements, such as completing a purchase, sharing UGC, or participating in brand building activities. By rewarding customer engagement, you strengthen the IKEA Effect and foster long-term brand loyalty.

I will be using Gamification this year in my clients Facebook ads Black Friday Strategy. More on this soon!

(psst, if you are thinking about running Facebook ads, check out this blog!)


By embracing the IKEA Effect, you could elevate your marketing strategies to create lasting connections with your customers.

Leveraging incentivisation, user-generated content, collaboration and gamification can lead to increased customer involvement, brand advocacy, and repeat business. Embrace the power of the IKEA Effect to not only drive sales but to create a loyal customer base that takes pride in being an integral part of your brand’s success.

Remember, authenticity, personalisation and inclusivity are key to capturing the hearts of your customers and forging meaningful relationships that transcend the transactional nature of ecommerce.

So there you have it! How you can apply the IKEA Effect to your business. If you have any questions or would like to talk further about this, or Facebook ads your brilliant business, please send me a message on Instagram (I love to hang out there) or book a free call with me here.

Download your free guide

By downloading my guide, you agree to receiving an occasional newsletter that details helpful tips and tricks. I promise not to spam you and you can unsubscribe at ANY time! I will never sell your details to third parties and will guard it with my life.

  • how to grow your instagram
  • circle pattern

grab your free guide!

By downloading my guide, you agree to receiving an occasional newsletter that details helpful tips and tricks. I promise not to spam you and you can unsubscribe at ANY time! I will never sell your details to third parties and will guard it with my life.