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Hamarvik, Kolon and Gutviken – IKEA product names stand out

Ikea is known for its product names. They have their origin in the Scandinavian language area and sometimes sound somewhat irritating or even amusing.

A mattress called Hamarvik? Someone thinks up a name like that? No. This name already exists. It’s the name of a city in Norway. And Vik is simply translated into English as “bay”. Ikea follows a red thread in its naming. 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 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 the wine glass on this black metal side table, will certainly remember the name of this piece of furniture and also the name of the Swedish furniture giant.

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

Distinctive names turn into a brand? Apparently sometimes it is not only a piece of art, but a piece of furniture.


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

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