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A few years ago, I came across a Japanese consumer goods brand called Muji. What struck me was their rationale and contrarian approach to building their product-based business.

Their tagline – “Lower prices for a reason” – communicates that their products are low-cost, not because they are cheap, but because their manufacturing process is efficient.

Their three steps to achieving low cost are:

  1. Selection of raw materials
  2. Streamlining of processes
  3. Simplification of packaging

They give an example on their website:

“For instance, if you omit the bleaching process for pulp, the resulting paper is light beige. MUJI used this paper for its packaging and labels. The ensuing products are remarkably pure and fresh.”

In a world full of over-embellished, shiny, refined products, simplifying raw materials and processes gave Muji a competitive differentiation while reducing prices for their customers.


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