Applying the IKEA Effect to Your CRM Project

The IKEA Effect can positively impact the success of your CRM project. This post will teach you about the effect and how it applies to business software projects.


It’s not advisable to spring the following on certain long-time or influential employees:

“We’ve implemented a new CRM system. Your login will be emailed to you. Your training is scheduled for next Wednesday.”

Involvement in the Assembly

With IKEA products, there’s often some simple assembly required. The “effect” part is that people usually put a higher valuation on something they assemble themselves.

Think back to any successful DIY project you’ve completed. You probably feel a certain level of pride every time you look at or use your creation.

The Wikipedia article on the IKEA Effect defines it as “a cognitive bias in which consumers place a disproportionately high value on products they partially created.”

Michael I. Norton of the Harvard Business School wrote about the positives of the IKEA effect on consumer products in 2011.

Today, companies like Shoe Zero let you design your shoes.

The IKEA Effect and Business Software

So, how does this B2C (business to consumer) sales and marketing revelation apply to business technology purchases such as CRM?

It involves getting representative end users involved in the requirements definition process.

While end-users will not build the end system as consumers design their apparel online, their input can be visible in the CRM system when rolled out.


End-user input is often based on first-hand experiences of inefficiencies that cause frustration and decrease productivity.

For example, if information is currently complex to locate but could be easily tracked and found in a CRM system, it would make the employee more content and productive.

Or, there are recurring processes that would flow much better with automated task assignments.

In the B2C world, according to Norton, “convincing consumers to engage in the kinds of labor that will lead them to value products more highly, especially given their general aversion to such pursuits” is a marketing challenge.

Because internal employees are more accessible than external consumers, getting end-users to engage in the assembly process is less challenging.

Many employees will jump at the chance to air their pains and suggest what processes and features will alleviate them.

The IKEA Effect, a.k.a. “pride of authorship,” is crucial to a successful CRM planning and selection process. This can extend to any enterprise technology in which end-users have a stake.

At CRM Switch, we have helped many medium-sized and enterprise companies determine which employees or groups of employees to be involved in the CRM strategy, planning and requirements-gathering process.

Your CRM Project. Our Expertise.

Let’s discuss a tailored path to success.

Your CRM Project