When you’re walking down a huge, chain grocery store and come across millions of different products, do you pick up the store brand or the name brand? The store brand’s packaging is usually not as recognizable and aesthetically plain. You’ve probably never seen it before on an ad across town or on TV. The name brand product, on the other hand, you instantly recognize. You’ve seen it on the subway or on TV during those annoying commercials. I usually go for the name brand, even though deep down I am aware, they’re 90% the same, processed product. But reaching for the store brand makes me feel…bad. Why do I feel so inclined to spend more on the same product?!
As someone who is on a tight budget, I feel irritated with my own psyche. Last week, I came across this interesting article, “There’s A New Online Grocery Store That Sells Every Product For $3” by Buzzfeed. Brandless, a start-up based in San Francisco and Minneapolis, launched this past July. From vinegar to hand soap, everything in their store is $3! How is this possible? What’s the catch?
Basically, they get their products directly from the source and sell that to their consumers. This cuts the BrandTax™, which is what they define as “the hidden costs you pay for a national brand.” Brandless is on a mission to help eliminate the BrandTax™. Right now, you can purchase high-quality non-perishable foods, household supplies, beauty, personal care, health, and home & office.
I think this concept is really interesting and a great idea. I often wonder how important a brand really is to me. Are the brands that we purchase at the market just a habit? Is it a habit worth keeping or worth questioning? Would you give up the comfort of your brand to try this innovative new concept? And with all this talk about no branding, ironically, Brandless itself is still a brand as well. In different contexts, branding seems to matter more and less. A jar of peanut butter is less risky and long-lasting than your laptop. As a designer, I see there is genuine value to a brand, but I also believe in questioning everything, always.
See for yourself, check out Brandless. All images belong to Brandless.0