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Brandless Redefines Private Brand Value

Disruption is here and taking over the retail industry. Retailers who are winning deliver on one of three extremes: extreme value, extreme convenience or extreme experience. Value-driven retailers are taking ‘cheapest’ to the next level. Convenience focused retailers are removing friction from the buying process. Experience driven retailers are delivering an amazing experience that creates friction and game changing power through great displays and instagrammable moments.

Brandless delivers on the value extreme. A digitally-native company launched in 2017 selling everything, including organic and specialty goods, for $3. As a new e-commerce startup offering a wide assortment of own-brand household and food items, Brandless adds value to the consumer by selling quality merchandise without a so-called “brand tax,” eliminating the middlemen and complex inventories. The brand’s main focus is to sell better-for-you and better-for-the-planet food and household staples at an affordable price. All food products are non-GMO and preservative-free, while beauty products do not contain any harmful ingredients like parabens, phthalates and sulfates. Brandless has garnered significant funding and is set to grow quickly, providing consumers an alternative to Amazon.

Brandless started their focus on cost innovation with a simple pricing strategy with every item sold priced at $3. As of recently, Brandless has expanded into new categories including pet and baby, with a higher price point class of $9 products. Improved quality comes at a higher price point, which is what Brandless has capitalized on with this new category. $3 worth of diapers isn’t attractive, or practical, and is just the beginning of the Brandless brand evolution, all while staying centered on its core, bringing value to the customer.

Brandless’ product staples including organic olive oil, cookies and toilet paper will stay $3. All price increases will continue in multiples of three to maintain discipline and simplicity across the business.

Brandless has taken a bold step forward in reconciling the paradox of choice for consumers. If it can create this much energy around commodity products, we are intrigued to see how it can expand its lines further.

Read more on Brandless and other cases in our book, Retail Innovations here.

By Alex Kaufmann


McMillanDoolittle is a premier international retail consultancy bringing deep experience with world class clients. Our partners have extensive experience interpreting the retail marketplace and converting insights into successful strategies. We help clients develop innovative solutions in strategy development, the customer experience, new concepts, brand performance, retail performance improvement and retail intelligence services.

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