Dyscalculia: The Secret Behind IKEA’s Product Names.

The Swedish brand IKEA is known all around the world for its affordable furniture and household items. The Quartz news outlet discussed the success story of the brand and its system behind the unconventional products titles. The founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, who is known to have suffered from dyscalculia. The traditional numeral product codes used in most business seemed like a unending nightmare to him. To avoid the challenging typing of numbers in the computer system, he decided to name his products using letters. This lead to the invention of a naming system referencing specific semantic groups dependently on the range of the product to be titled. For instance bathroom articles are named after Swedish lakes and bodies of water, whereas bed textiles refer to flowers and plants. Today IKEA is famous around the world for its unusual product names such as Grönkulla (for bed sheets) or Knutstorp (for a chair lounge), which positively contribute to the marketing and fame of the company.

This example shows that dyscalculia does not have to automatically be a hinderance and that the experience of having a disability can also shape innovative approaches to common situations and lead to extraordinary careers.

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