Design will kill advertising and marketing, says Ikea’s former design chief

For the previous six years, Marcus Engman has effectively made Ikea bizarre.

As the corporate’s head of design, he spearheaded inventive collaborations on tropical furnishings and L.A.-inspired skateboards to push the reserved Swedish furnishings massive out of its minimalist convenience zone. But Engman just lately left Ikea to begin an organization of his personal known as Skewed Productions. Think of it as a hybrid of design studio and advert company–its function is to create advertising and marketing moments for firms thru product design itself. Instead of spending cash on advert buys, Engman desires to show firms to marketplace themselves thru their design.

“I wish to display there’s an alternative choice to advertising and marketing, which is if truth be told design,” says Engman. “And should you paintings with design and communications in the suitable manner, that will be the absolute best roughly advertising and marketing, with out purchasing media.”

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[Photo: Ikea]

His plan makes some sense. In a consumer-obsessive global, design has grow to be a significant promoting level. Consumers find out about the whole thing from Kickstarter campaigns constructed upon the non-public trips of inventors to Apple’s Jony Ive-narrated iPhone movies to listen to the intent and motivation at the back of the goods we purchase.

“More and extra individuals are thinking about how issues are made,” says Engman. “I imagine in transparency–being extra clear in design you do–that pulls passion and over the years it builds passion within the task.”

But for firms that don’t essentially “get” design–whether or not that’s person product building, or find out how to marry an entire line of goods into one grounding thesis that may outline a emblem–Engman sees a chance for versatile, design-oriented folks to lend a hand out in a hands-on consulting and building capability. “It’s one ballgame in model,” he says, “and an absolutely other one in how we paintings in furnishings, for example.”

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[Screenshot: Skewed Productions]

Skewed Productions is a one-man display. Before Ikea, Engman has had his personal company with 30 staff beneath him. Now, he plans to rent out collaborators from his community on a per-project foundation. He argues that this new style will be extra equitable for everybody concerned, as a result of he plans to percentage income together with his crew, slightly than paying out inventory salaries. And it will permit him to tackle tasks extra flexibly, since his workforce can at all times be in flux. While he cautions me that Skewed is simplest four days into lifestyles, and he’s simply development a consumer roster, he’d love to have a mixture of huge firms and small startup shoppers to stay paintings numerous.

As for his legacy, and why it was once time to depart Ikea? “I believe there comes a time when you’re feeling you need to do one thing else. I’m no longer a maintainer man. I’m a startup man. And I used to be put there to make numerous adjustments. And we made so much,” he says. “Working at a big corporate, it’s about main by means of technique and discovering new companions. I sought after to, no longer pass backwards, however be even nearer to the design, so that you can do design myself once more.”