Ever wonder how IKEA came up with unique Swedish names for all of its furniture? It was from its founder, Ingvar Kamprad, who is dyslexic.
Kamprad’s original furniture business began as a mail-order sales business. Most of his products were identifiable by a set of numbers, but Kamprad had trouble remembering the codes for each product, which turned out to be the sign of his dyslexia.
So, instead of delegating those responsibilities to another person and avoiding the issue, he used his disability to his advantage by coming up with a more creative system for organizing his products. This turned out to be the most iconic aspect of his now-worldwide business.
Kamprad created a naming system where he gave names to each piece of furniture. For example, large furniture is given names of Swedish places, chairs and desks have men’s names, and garden furniture is named after Swedish islands. This system was easier for Kamprad to remember and visualize each product, since most of the names were of places familiar to him.
Today, IKEA is one of the largest furniture stores in the world and is well-known for its unique product names. Because Kamprad decided to face his disability, he turned a once-challenging aspect of his life into a unique facet of IKEA.
Read more about Kamprad’s story on HubPages.