In a world saturated with hundreds of products from every sector and in-your-face flashy designs, sometimes it pays to strip it all back and go minimal.
Read about our 3 favourite new companies who have realised the importance of focusing efforts on creating an online buzz. Rather than wasting time on over-complicating design, these pioneers are taking advantage of minimal branding.
You may remember us mentioning Brandless when we chatted about targeting millennials through e-commerce a few weeks ago. If you haven’t seen that post yet, check it out! They’re an extremely new company, launched only in July of this year. Their slogan ‘Better Everything. For Everyone. All $3’ is pasted across the website, and pretty much sums up their ethos. All of the products featured on the website really are $3, with some cheaper items priced at 2 for $3. Brandless sell a range of non-perishable foodstuffs, household and beauty products, and a small collection of home & office supplies.
There is absolutely no branding on any of the packaging, but that’s the beauty of it. The stuff is actually recognisable. Brandless have somehow turned the phenomenon of minimal branding into an identifiable brand. Take a look at some examples of their products below:
The design team fondly referred to as ‘the white box council’ by Brandless CEO Tina Sharkey, have chosen to feature white space with a simple uppercase font. You’ll notice the trademark sign above each white box, and that’s because they have indeed trademarked their white box.
The story behind Brandless is that they wanted a way to get around the tax on branded goods to offer customers a cheaper product, but without compromising on quality. The company have actually trademarked the name ‘BrandTax’ to refer to the apparent 40% more consumers pay for branded products. Brandless has launched a massive social media campaign, leading to customers uploading unboxing videos and blogs dedicated to reviewing their products. There’s even a #brandlesslife hashtag going around. Brandless have proved that the key to a successful launch is concentrating efforts into good digital marketing and a strong USP.
A moment we can all relate to: when you unbox your new iPhone and cradle it with joy, only to realise that you probably need to put a case on it. Well, cases, generally speaking, are bulky ugly. But what’s even uglier? A scratched and cracked iPhone. Here’s where Peel come in. Peel pride themselves on solving this problem and call themselves the ‘happy medium’ of phone cases. They have produced ultra-sleek cases which work as a barrier to protect your phone, but don’t take away from its beautiful look.
Peel have both iPhone and Android cases available and have put absolutely no branding on the cases themselves. This is where the online marketing comes in. Peel have made a name for themselves by pushing their unique concept through social media campaigns. They are champions of true minimalism, letting their product speak for itself.
Why cover your beautiful iPhone with a big, bulky case? Peel is the original & best ultra thin iPhone case. pic.twitter.com/l4sLaqej1L
— Peel (@PeelHQ) August 29, 2017
This company really have put their online customer first. Literally. Glossier started out as a beauty blog known as Into The Gloss, attracting a band of loyal followers and building up a knowledge for trends in the cosmetic world. From this the company was born in 2014, and have only taken a couple of years to rise to the top. Glossier make simple, easy-to-use beauty products which are a breath of fresh air to the recent trends of heavy-coverage, professional looks which take a lifetime to master. Their packaging is super minimal too, and very Instagram-friendly. And this is why the brand has become so popular, so quickly. If your product is both unique and Instagrammable, you’ve got the perfect formulation to rise amongst bloggers and social media users (who of course are the ideal target market for any new e-commerce business).
The Glossier team strive to change the way people wear makeup, making it uncomplicated and putting skincare first. Check out some of their products:
Their online marketing relies heavily on user-generated content. The brand’s Instagram account is full of happy customers flaunting their product. The best aspect of the packaging is its clean, sharp design which looks good against any background, meaning users can get creative with snapping and uploading pics of their purchases. Glossier has become a cult beauty brand – all through the power of online marketing.
These companies are interesting examples that launching a startup is about concentrating efforts into good digital marketing and a strong USP, and in turn, stripping back design. Online branding is key! Something that Glossier, Brandless and Peel have in common: they focus on products that the customer really wants and make them as simple as possible. If you want to find out how to strengthen your own online brand, have a read of this post.