Hamarvik, Kolon and Gutviken – IKEA product names stand out

Ikea is known for its product names. They originate from the Scandinavian language area and sometimes sound somewhat irritating or even amusing.

A mattress called Hamarvik? Someone thinks up something like that? No. This name already exists. It’s the name of a city in Norway. And Vik is simply translated into German as “bay”. Ikea follows a common thread in its name. The Swedish furniture store’s homepage contains the following information about these unusual names: “… sofas, armchairs and coffee tables usually bear Swedish place names (e.g. KLIPPAN), bathroom items are named after rivers and lakes (ÖRESUND or ASUNDEN), Swedish names from music, chemistry or meteorology are used for luminaires. (Source: IKEA)

Nevertheless, we are amused by the Gutviken (a bay in Sweden), the Kolon (colon) floor protection mat, whose name in medicine refers to the large intestine, or the black-painted metal side table called Knarrevik (city in Norway). Ikea remains true to itself and its name concept, and its customers keep it in mind. Anyone who sits on the sofa in the evening and puts their wine glass on this black metal side table will certainly have remembered the name of this piece of furniture and therefore also the name of the manufacturer.

These are just a few of the names of IKEA products that irritate or make you laugh. Many simply stay in their heads and make a name for themselves. Like Billy, for example. The classic among IKEA’s shelves. Everybody knows it, right?

Conclusion: Striking names turn a name into a brand? Apparently sometimes not a trick, but a piece of furniture.


Thomas Schiefer as managing partner of innomark GmbH comments at irregular intervals on brand topics currently under discussion.

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