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A new online grocery store favors bare-bones branding for simplicity’s sake

No brand

Following suit of direct-to-consumer brands like Casper and Warby Parker, Brandless is a new online-only retailer looking to make major changes in the grocery landscape.

Traditional grocery stores offer consumers endless selections of items which can be an overwhelming experience–too many choices can lead to indecision and frustration. To make shopping more approachable, Brandless offers a more curated selection of products including pantry goods, cleaning supplies, personal care products, health items and office supplies. Each item is branded as Brandless in a style that’s a hip take on the old-school generic look. The minimalist packaging pairs it down to the product name, its attributes (organic seems to be a standard, and many items are gluten- or preservative-free) and the Brandless trademark.

Prices also recall an older era: Everything sells for $3 (which means that some items are bundled for better value, since customers would likely balk at $3 taco seasoning).

Having only recently launched in July 2017, the plucky newbie is already making a name for itself with its goal to “democratize goodness” – ensuring every consumer has access to healthy, conscious products.

“We deeply believe in people being able to live their values,” says Tina Sharkley, Brandless CEO. This belief is clearly evidenced through a product portfolio that closely aligns with Conscious Consumer preferences, such as non-GMO, fair trade and free of artificial flavors and ingredients. Beyond that, Brandless supports Conscious Consumer values through their partnership with Feeding America (they donate a meal each time customers shop) and a website that offers a behind-the-scenes look at their pricing and sourcing principles.

As we discovered in our THINK report, Conscious Consumers have a sincere commitment to improving their wellbeing – whether through diet, stress reduction or exercise. They also place a premium on brands that reflect their personal values – to the degree that they’re willing to pay more for products and services of like-minded companies.

In an ever-dynamic retail landscape, Brandless seems poised to not only capture the spending power of the Conscious Consumer audience, but also their loyalty.

All of this proves to be interesting food for thought, especially in relation to CPG brands and consumer loyalty – which may be shifting from brand giants to smaller names that stand at the intersection of consciousness, convenience, affordability and transparency. As Sharkey puts it, “We’re unapologetically a brand … but we are reimagining what it means to be a brand today.”

Is your brand, too?

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