IKEA HOMES IN ON OFFICE: MAILING FOCUSES ON PC OWNERS AS KEY PROSPECTS FOR NEW LINE

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Ikea north america is introducing a new line of furniture with its first mailing targeted to the growing segment of home workers.

The July mailing went to consumers identified as PC owners, who the furniture retailer believes also tend to be stay-at-home workers.

GOOD LOOKING, FUNCTIONAL

The one-shot effort for the new home-office collection features what Ikea calls "furniture with a split personality" -- aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.

"Whether you're just starting a business or are already well-established, whether you prefer completely coordinated or charmingly eclectic, at Ikea you'll find all the ways you need to make your home office environment just perfect for you," states the mailer created by DirectDeutsch, New York, the direct arm of Ikea agency of record Deutsch. Radio and print ads also support the new furniture line.

The mailer offers a coupon worth $10 off a purchase of $100 or more made between July 18 and Sept. 6.

Most of the names on the mailing came from Ikea's existing database of customers; the goal was to reach consumers who own personal computers.

"That's the key driver . . . it's the highest variable," said Bobbi Casey Howell, exec VP-director of DeutschDirect, adding that their research has found that owners of PCs are more apt to work at home.

She said targeting PC owners allowed for a "random sample of the U.S." that would include not only telecommuters, but also students, home business owners and even housewives in need of a comfortable work space.

BOLSTERING DATABASE USE

Ms. Casey Howell said DeutschDirect has dramatically helped Ikea bolster its database usage in the past couple years. When the agency first began working on the business, Ikea only had a "homegrown file" consisting of names and addresses gathered at its stores, with virtually no other details.

DirectDeutsch has helped lead Ikea "from a shoe box of names and addresses to a complete understanding of how [consumers] interact with Ikea, even on a personal basis," she said. Ms. Casey Howell wouldn't disclose the total number of names in the current database, saying only the figure is in the multimillions.

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