Muji’s no-ad strategy helps in expanding its brand

Hey...have you heard of Muji?

The Muji in New Jersey just opened.
Courtesy of Muji USA

Muji, the brand known for its acrylic drawers every beauty guru owns, looks to be expanding in the United States.

Co.Design reports that the Japanese retailer quite surprisingly does not utilize ads and relies mainly in its brick and mortar stores to attract its customers.

While Muji does have an online store, it’s more about the experience than the instant gratification of buying something.

On Thursday, Nov. 3, at the Fast Company Innovation Festival, Asako Shimazaki, Muji U.S.A.’s president, talked about two new stores in the U.S. One will be in Los Angeles and the other one will be in Boston by next year.

Shimazaki explained the brand’s philosophy in advertisement. “Muji has a ‘less is more’ attitude to advertising. We prefer the Muji shopping experience to expand our customer base,” she said. “We reach out to customers with our strategy—this is our basic customer policy.”

If skeptics think Muji’s trying to reinvent the wheel, they’d be wrong, as the brand has been carrying the no-ad attitude since 1980 in Japan.

“We want to keep our product to a certain price, but if we use advertisement we have to increase our price,” Shimazaki said.

It’s not hard to imagine that Muji might be the Japanese version of The Container Store, as “Muji’s full name—Mujirushi Ryōhin—translates to ‘no brand, good quality.'”

With over 700 stores in three continents, the company doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon.