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What would a world without branding look like?
You'd think besides being incredibly dull the economy certainly wouldn't be what it is, and there certainly wouldn't be the opportunities for creative entrepreneurs to launch new startups.
If there wasn't any branding, then shopping would likely be based on how much products rang up at the register for. Branding is clearly crucial for differentiation, franchising, establishing value and quality as well as building trust and brand loyalty for building and ensuring equity in businesses. Plus of course, we all know the powerful marketing benefits and increased response rates and revenues that can come from good branding.
So is it possible that a bland or "no-brand" strategy could work for businesses today?
Un-branding, or non-brand branding has certainly been an incredibly powerful marketing tool for some organizations and products in recent years. With all the noise out there today no-brand branding can actually be a way to instantly separate, distinguish and get your products noticed instantly. Imagine walking into a store packed with products screaming their brand names and slogans, and the one which may stand out is the single product dressed in "no-frills" packaging.
This doesn't mean that these products are inferior or cheaper. In fact the positioning could well be that the manufacturer devotes the additional dollars to creating a higher quality product and putting more value in the box.
There have been a number of examples of this which have really taken off from Ed Hardy jeans to Japanese company Muji, a Florida sunscreen company; perhaps the "Freak" sports supplement line and even Amway products.
So what branding elements might you still incorporate and need to select to support a winning no-brand brand?
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No-brand branding screams "Pick me because I don't support the hype and am just the best product on the market".