IKEA founder Ingvar Feodor Kamprad, incorporated the name of his birthplace — a small farm called Elmtaryd near the village of Agunnaryd, in the Swedish province of Småland — and used the initials to christen his company.
Kamprad’s relationship with proper nouns may be best comprehended in the way Ikea products are named — mostly on Swedish and other Scandinavian places. For example, the bedroom furniture series ‘Hemnes’ is named after a town in North Norway. Similarly, the living room and home office furniture series ‘Liatorp’ has its roots in a village in South Sweden and the storage furniture series which features shelves and racks is called ‘Kallax’, after a Swedish locality.
The rather unusual naming scheme may appear to some as a quirky marketing strategy, but in reality it is because Kamprad suffered from dyslexia and by naming products on proper nouns, it became easier for him to remember them.
Even when Kamprad would deviate from naming products after nouns — names and places mostly — there would still be a link between the product and its characteristics. For example, ‘Duktig’ (meaning: clever, well-behaved) is a line of children’s toys, ‘Effektiv’ (meaning: efficient, effective) is an office furniture range and ‘Skarpt’ (meaning: sharp or clever) is a line of kitchen knives.