Muji: The Un-Brand

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Business Week features an article about the “secret” brand that is Muji. According to the article, “Muji is short for mujirushi ryohin, which translates roughly to ‘no label, quality goods,’ and its mission is to provide well designed, useful products at affordable prices.” Muji currently has 285 stores in Japan with 61 others in the UK, France, and China. And it is contemplating setting up shop in the US. I believe it already has some products at MOMA.

Anyway, here are a few pics from my pilgrimmage to Muji back in January. These are from the main Kyoto location.

I really wanted this bike.
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The cafe was reasonably priced and had lots of great take out snacks. For some reason the Muji bottled water just tasted better than other brands.
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The clothes didn’t fit my non-localized body. But I did buy a pair of glasses. They had these mix-and-match stations set up and I really enjoyed building my own specs.
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And one more shot before I left…
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What I most liked about Muji is how uncluttered the place felt. And I realize now that it was because you didn’t have all these little products everywhere screaming out at you with their unique logos and color schemes and oddball shapes. At Muji, because they make and “unbrand” all their products, the color schemes, the labeling, the layouts are all very simple, consistent and serene.

I miss Muji.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.