In 1980 ‘a Japanese brand that claims to be no-brand’ was born as a counter point to a society trend of consumer excess that grew within Japan throughout the 1970s.
Co-founder, Seiji Tsutsumi had a dream to create products that had no brand, simple functionality and a reasonable price. And he has succeeded. From a start of 40 products the business now offers product numbers in the thousands and it continues to grow; in both range and popularity. They currently operate 300 stores outside of Japan but the number is set to reach 888 by 2017.
Why does this no branding philosophy work?
The idea behind its success is that if you offer customers a simple product then you open up both freedom and versatility.
The Muji process is based on three very simple principles:
Selecting the appropriate materials
Reviewing the production process
‘The Muji concept is essentially ‘su no bi’ which means ‘the beauty of simplicity’. This focuses heavily on design and of course embodies Japanese culture. We feel that customers can easily connect with Muji’ – Managing Director of Retail in Australia, Takuo Nagahara
Muji offer a range of stationery, household goods, furniture and apparel through both bricks and mortar stores and online.
‘Like Japanese culture, Muji is sincere, honest and efficient. This is how our customers view Muji. They can expect high-quality products that have been designed with them in mind.’ – Takuo Nagahara
Muji, by retaining their core principles and taking the time to listen to their customers is now known as the Ikea of Japan and like Ikea is gaining a cult following around the world. By offering no branded products which are reasonably priced, high quality and flexibility they allow customers to make them their own and perhaps that is the biggest secret to their success.
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