Many of us are spending more time at home, a trend likely to continue with businesses increasingly offering flexible working. This is leading to higher domestic energy bills, greater use of water and more household waste. With the UK heading into a recession and a growing imperative to hit environmental targets, what can companies do to help people save money and live more sustainably? 

The answer may be found within the Live Lagom campaign launched by IKEA in 2015 as part of their vision to inspire a million customers to live more sustainably at home. Live Lagom was created in partnership with Hubbub and is now built into the way that IKEA is run, transforming thousands of lives in the UK and many more overseas as the project expands globally. 

Live Lagom aimed to position IKEA as a leader in sustainable living at home, by exploring new ways to engage with customers and generating increased sales of IKEA's sustainable life at home products. 

In the first three years over 1,500 ‘Lagomers’ actively took part. 6,500 people were influenced by store communications and involvement in workshops. A further 21.5 million were reached through social media, and despite media being unpaid, coverage of Live Lagom generated over 77.8 million opportunities to see. This also sparked a lot of interest with lifestyle book publishers and at the time of writing, 10 books are on the market.  

Based on assessment by the University of Surrey, participants were estimated to have saved on average £1,440 per year per household. Average savings approximated to 317kg of CO2 per year, the equivalent of planting 53 trees a year each. 92% of the participants said the programme taught them new skills.  90% reduced electricity bills, 60% cut gas bills and 60% spent less on food by cutting waste. 

The research indicated that Live Lagom transformed attitudes and mindsets. There was a significant shift in perception that sustainable living was easier and more affordable partly by inspiring people to try new behaviours they hadn’t previously considered.  

Many people felt a greater sense of wellbeing and more in control of their lives having made conscious choices about how they live. There was also a considerable ripple effect with participants spreading the word to their wider community.  

The success of the campaign can be attributed to five factors: 

1) It was built on extensive customer insight

In the first year, Hubbub and IKEA visited the homes of over 125 IKEA customers seeking to understand their aspirations for living a better life and what was needed to help them do this in an environmental sensitive way. 

2) It used the power of IKEA’s brand and customer loyalty

Customers were invited for store tours at their local IKEA where they could see first-hand the steps that IKEA was taking to be more sustainable. They were assigned a store project leader who provided them with personalised help and support.

3) It was made easy for people to act

A Live Lagom catalogue was created showcasing IKEA products designed to help people save energy, cut waste use, reduce waste and live healthily. IKEA provided participants with a financial incentive helping them to get started. A closed Facebook Group allowed Lagomers and co-workers to share ideas, learn together, inspire each other and overcome obstacles. Hubbub organised regular instore workshops and Facebook Live sessions allowing experts to share tips and answer questions. 

4) It allowed customers to tell the story

Participants were encouraged to share their experiences and stories on social media. This provided relatable content for other people highlighting the benefits to ‘people like me’ of living more sustainably. 

5) It used the power of IKEA’s reach

IKEA was able to use the stories and insight from the Lagomers to create new workshops for all their customers and to design in-store room-sets and new marketing campaigns illustrating how their products could help people to save money and live more sustainably. This provided authentic content to which people could relate.   

The Live Lagom campaign provided IKEA with significant benefits. Not only did it bring their sustainability story to life for co-workers and customers, it also generated a 28% growth in sales of focused products and increased store visits from participants by 29% compared to 16% for the control group. It proved so successful that Live Lagom is now built into IKEA as an ongoing programme, part of business as usual, with new ‘Lagommers’ recruited every year. Read the full impact report of the 3 years of the Live Lagom campaign below.  

READ IMPACT REPORT 

Hubbub is using the experience and results of Live Lagom to develop similar customer engagement programmes for major retailers and telecom companies. We will be sharing these stories in the coming months. We are convinced as we head into economic and environmental uncertainty that there will be a growing need to help people save money and live sustainably, and we hope that IKEA’s experience and success encourages others to take action too.