No-brands saw a future overlooking the past.
Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity – is a statement made by Plato, more than two thousand years ago. If it wasn’t true, it must’ve been forgotten after at least a few centuries. If it is true, it must’ve been followed by many. Neither happened.
(a) Our philosophy is based on three core principles, which remain unchanged to this day: Selection of materials, Streamlining of processes, Simplification of packages. Our products are succinct, but they are not in the minimalist style. They are like empty vessels. Simplicity and emptiness yield the ultimate universality, embracing the feelings and thoughts of all people. We do not make objects to entice responses of strong affinity, like, ‘This is what I really want’ or, ‘I must have this.’ Our goal is to give customers a rational satisfaction, expressed with “This will do.”
(b) Our sourcing philosophy is simple: better for people, better for the planet. We value curation and focus. Less is more. Less but better. We value things that are easy to use and understand. We’re committed to reducing our impact on the environment. For us it’s about progress, not perfection. Across all of our product categories, we have focused on ‘Just What Matters’ for that specific category. We listen to our community. This is a win-win: high- quality stuff for you and a donation for another in need.
Among the many types of brands, no-brands have a subtly quirky appearance because they do not appear everywhere. They do not surprise you in magazines. Their adverts are silent. They do not expect queues outside their stores. No flagship products too. They do not leave labels or marks on their products overtly. All they possess and express is creativity and consistency.
The above two paragraphs (a & b) are excerpts from brand descriptions of two no-brands, which are widely known among the few peoples who look out for such brands. These clusters of consumers are identified to be the ones who choose function over brand badges. They too are like the billion others, but their choice of brands depends on the invisibility of the brands they use. They pick brands which do not possess self-expressive benefits. So, such consumers would buy a luxury car like Lexus even without the iconic grille or an iphone without the bitten apple.
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Clothing collection completely in bland colours, 90 degree socks, wrist-watch with a plain dial, simple storage units, moisturizers which put ‘cruelty free & sulphate free’ instead of a logo, unbleached-paper bags – likewise, they appear different in & out. While all their competitors are selling the same moisturizer saying it will protect and nourish the skin which thereby results in enhanced self-confidence and beter performance at the work place, no-brands still sell it by saying that it protects the skin, only. They talk the bare minimum yet fulfil the bare essentials, which is why these brands are able to grow slowly and slowly with maximum customer retention. These consumers employ these brands like counter signalling tools making it difficult to comprehend their personality traits. So, regret in choice, which is a common consumer behaviour trait, is nearly absent in these consumers.
No-brands came as a consequence of excessive branding activities all over the world. Before the modern branding revolution, which took off in the mid 1900s, buying and selling was carried out on more or less the same principles which no-brands have imbibed today. Extravagant branding left the industry with significant losses and the generics breathed into the daily lives of the masses. Over a few decades, the generics, which like no-brands do not carry a logo or a name or an identity, have been rejected by people. Brands took over again slowly thereafter. The frills and decorations around branded goods got revived with more subtlety. However, no-brands chose a more democratic way of doing business by identifying people who chase away loudness and chaos while embracing function and satisfaction. With such an overarching goal, these brands have achieved sustainability and consistency.
The future of these brands is simple, as they describe themselves. They would maintain a strictly narrow product line. People would not flock to the stores. Yet their presence is so promising that more such brands could emerge or a few other brands could revamp their branding principles like no-brands.