Are you sick and tired of big brands trying to charge you more, just because of their names, and the investment they’ve made in marketing, ads, and so on?
You just want a plain, old, unpretentious product that will serve its purpose? Well, lucky for you, there is a thing like a no-brand brand.
Let’s find out more.
What Is a No-Brand Brand?
A no-brand brand is such that goes against all branding principles, and in essence, what makes a brand. The basic elements of a brand include a logo, name, design, symbols, typography…
All of this is meaningless when a product chooses not to brand itself. It’s basically an anti-brand strategy, and is aimed towards delivering product expectations, rather than selling the dream of what the brand will give you.
At this point, you might be wondering what is the point of it all? How does one compete with world-famous brands, without any branding efforts? Let’s review that.
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What Is the Goal of a No-Brand Branding Strategy?
The main idea behind generic brands is to enter the market battle by offering a line of products that are meant to compete with the well-established brands.
As a main selling point, no-brand brands aim to offer products that have similar qualities to famous brands, but are much cheaper due to the lack of investment in advertising, and in marketing, in general.
All this comes as an answer to whether users want a brand or just a product. For those that seek the latter, generic brands are a great choice. After all, the quality of products is relatively the same, however the price isn’t.
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No-Brand Branding Examples
No Name is a typical no-brand brand. They are based in Canada and offer grocery and household products.
Founded in 1978, their initial promotion was: “basic products in plain packaging at down-to-earth everyday low prices”. The company also promised savings between 10-40% compared to other national brands.
This Japanese retail company (Muji having a literal translation of “no mark”) has earned the trust of users, and even managed to receive some worldwide recognition, with stores in the US, Europe, and Asia.
They specialize in selling household and consumer goods like home appliances, furniture, cosmetics, kitchen utensils, and more.
Brandless is an American eCommerce grocery store that sells pretty much everything from makeup tools to baby care, vitamins, gummies, and kitchen accessories.
Even though the company ceased operations in 2020, it was relaunched in 2022 with a new CEO in charge – Cydni Tetro. The company raised $118 million in August 2021, becoming one of the largest funding rounds ever to be led by a female CEO.
The Unbranded Brand
The Unbranded Brand is an eCommerce store that sells denim. As their slogan puts it, they have: “No branding. No washes. No Embroidery. No Ad Campaigns. No Celebrities.”
It’s that simple. The best part is that they offer jeans for $80, and the same jeans would cost $250, for example, if they were offered by a known brand.
There are several other generic brands. Still, does this no-brand brand generate revenue?
Is It Profitable to Have a No-Brand Brand?
We’ve talked about the consumer point of view, but from a business perspective – is starting a no-brand brand a profit-making business?
Let’s look at Mujirushi Ryōhin, which we mentioned earlier. According to Statista, the generated sales revenue of the company is only growing. From 188.35 billion Japanese Yen in 2013, to 496.17 billion Japanese Yen in 2022.
That’s a pretty steady growth and profit, wouldn’t you agree?
Otherwise, there’s naturally no guarantee that you’ll succeed, regardless of the business and branding strategy.
Opening a no-brand online store, though, will allow you to cut costs for advertising, branding, etc.
In practice, this allows you to sell products at the price of their cost. For instance, if a pair of socks costs $4 to create, you can easily sell them for $4, or let’s say $5.
Well-developed brands would otherwise need to invest in branding and marketing which would increase the end price to, let’s say, $12. And, in the end, it’s still the same pair of socks.
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So, what’s the final verdict?
A no-brand brand can actually be a profitable and sustainable business. Not all consumers want to spend money on overpriced products, just because they have strong branding.
Many people, especially those who are on tight budgets, are simply looking for a cheap, yet good quality product.
Take note of the examples we’ve included in our article, and let us know whether you’ve decided to venture into the generic brand world.