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No brand’s brands. January 9, 2009

Posted by ieva in Uncategorized.
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I had never understood people who wear gucci t shirts and louis vuitton handbags with huge brand logos on them. Is it just an attempt to rise your “social value” by showing that you can afford this branded piece of cotton/leather?! No way, if I would wear a gucci tshirt, they should PAY ME!!

In 2004 (sorry for old numbers, but it gives an idea) the estimated value of the top 100 global brands was 988billion $. Of course, brands are tricking us to pay billions of dollars more for their goods that we would pay for their equivalents.

But more and more people get tired of the abundance of brands around us, they simply want functional, efficient and well made products. They don’t want to be walking advertisement for the companies that dress us, feed us, and furnish our homes.

Recently a number of companies have successfully pursued “No-Brand” strategies. This no-brand strategy means that little is spent on advertisement or classical marketing and brand’s success is mostly attributed to the word-of-mouth, a simple shopping experience and the anti-brand movement.

The most known is the Japanese company Muji (No brand. Good product): “Muji is not a brand. Muji does not make profit of individuality or fashion. We would like our customers to feel the rational sense of satisfaction that comes not with “this is the best”, but “this is enough”. “Best” becomes “enough”.” (What a wonderful definition of enough! It’s really going agoinst the main stream in our consumer society!) Muji makes products thet feature no distiguishing markings, logos, or trademarks. Muji is a brandless brand.

Another example is Blackspot sneackers.

The product was created by the anti-brand advocates at Adbusters magazine: “Blackspot campaign was born almost three years ago when we decided to stop merely criticizing the status quo and actually do something about it. It was born on the back of Nike, capturing the attention of the global media as a lively attack on the brand idolatry and sweatshop production methods of that multinational. Encouragingly, over 25,000 people are now wearing Blackspot shoes. Earth-friendly, anti-sweatshop, and cruelty-free, Blackspots are the only shoes designed to give Big Business what it needs the most: a swift kick in the brand.”

I’m really looking forward to see more of these companies. And especially- for some change in the way people think…

Is it possible to turn this upside down and to go more in the direction of “they should pay me”? Will it come true one day, the idea of Martin Guixe of sponsored food?

Or , like in the graduation project of a student from Design Academy Eindhoven: sponsored housing? (I would be very thankful if somebody helps me to find out the name of the author, a graduate from December 2008)

(photo: Helena Vitola)

Comments»

1. Rihards - January 9, 2009

Yes, anti-brand is good marketing solution. Soviet Union was paradise for anti-brand customers. I remember black mans pants with text “SCHOOL” on, but in those times i could die for 3 white stripes.
You can see lot of anti-brands in India now.
Maybe “Home Made” clothes is future.

2. irena - January 9, 2009

Izklausās jauki!

3. Karina - January 12, 2009

however brand name gives us some kind of a trust- once I had a samsung mobile phone, very nice designed form outside but totally unhandy for user as a phone. And after a year it suddenly “died” and never woke up. So I have never had samsung phone after… But if we think about the situation that there would be no brand, just maybe a producer, how could we know the quality of the product…? Yes, you purchase a name but at the same time you purchase quality as well….

4. elina busmane - January 12, 2009

Sitting now in my Helsinki & reading this post I realized that at the same time I was fastening my hair with Muji pen!
That pen my Latvian friend who’s studying architecture in Milan brought me as a Christmas present from Milan.
Seems these NO BRAND things are really becoming an issues.
The nice thing definitely is that these things are well-designed and that makes them attractive. Even if they are kind of mass-products.

5. balticdesign - January 12, 2009

Sure.
Nike sneakers are mass production as well.

6. julie S - January 13, 2009

I have to admit that I had some dreams about some produts, it was like a goal to me to have them..
one of it is still real : having a necklace doll from Sevane Gaxotte,and another is a Oui Ring from Dior!!
Of course I dont want the brand to be written on it, its like underwear you know its beautiful and luxury and no one can see it


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