The IKEA approach to copywriting

By July 4, 2011No Comments


We’re indebted to our friend Dr David Hillson aka The Risk Doctor for the following wise words.


He applies them to reducing risk in business and seizing opportunity, but they’re also a great guide to copywriting.


David’s a real pro at making risk management sound lively and engaging, and we love his IKEA approach, based on the instructions in their self-assembly furniture!


He says:


Managing risk would be much easier if we adopted the IKEA approach. This means that we should:


  • Provide a checklist of what is needed at the start, and clearly describe the intended outcome
  • Use the minimum number of words, with diagrams illustrating the most important parts of the process
  • Ensure that all instructions can be understood by a normal person, with no specialist jargon or technical language
  • Design the process logically so that it is obvious what to do next 
  • Use high-quality components that have been well tested and proved to work 
  • Check that nothing essential has been left out.



When you’re writing for your website or brochure, we’d also suggest you work with a customer-focused checklist, keep words to a minimum, cut out jargon, use high-quality copy and cover all the essentials.


We know David would approve (we edited his book Exploiting Future Uncertainty) and we recommend his regular briefings on www.risk-doctor.com



I’m Lesley Hussell and my job is to bring some copywriting magic to your business, so you sell more, inspire your staff or spread your message far and wide. You’ll want to know how I measure up against other copywriters you’re considering, and whether I’m good enough to be trusted with your brand. If you’re looking for quick wit, creative thinking and a flair for compelling content writing.