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Founded in 1979, MUJI—literally translating as “no brand”—is a Japanese retailer focusing on simple, low-cost, quality goods for the home.

We were tasked with creating an opening campaign for their new Portland-based flagship store—slated to be the second largest store in North America. They told us that if this opening effort went well, they would want to use this local campaign nationally to announce future locations.

(Now, that is good motivation to knock it out of the park.)

Even though they had locations in the US already, they felt that the MUJI ethos was largely not understood by their American audience, instead being mostly appreciated by artists, designers, and design-lovers for their minimal design and “no-brand” policy.

They were hoping that this campaign could help shed light on the deeper philosophies behind their business, and let a broader audience think of MUJI as an everyday store.

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We dove into the challenge, thinking deeply about what made MUJI different. Clearly, they were the anti-retailer. They don’t want people to buy more, they want them to buy less. They want to reduce waste, and be more thoughtful with their packaging. They stand for principles that make a difference to the world, not just for them. And they have been doing this since day one.

Ultimately, we rallied behind a single phrase:

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We wanted to offer a sentiment that would garner curiosity, create brand recognition, and establish MUJI as the thoughtful anti-brand that they are.

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Our layouts were intentionally spare and empty, literally mirroring the messaging of finding less.

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In-store, we unpacked the curious headline with information about their ethos, while still keeping in-line with our airy layouts.

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We also designed and produced a series of educational display signs for the opening. These proudly displayed the campaign messaging and featured a familiar, utilitarian element of MUJI’s brand: their tags.

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The campaign was a complete success!

Their Portland flagship store opening was the largest turnout they had ever had, and the client was very happy. We are looking forward to what we get to do with them next!

Deliverables:
  • Opening Campaign
  • Strategy and Positioning
  • Copywriting
  • In-Store Signage
  • Out of Home Advertisement
Special thanks to:

Taku, Yuko, Ichigo, and the entire MUJI team for allowing us to introduce their newest flagship store and philosophies to the Pacific Northwest.

The OMFGCO-Muji team: Jeremy, Afton, Lea, Ed, & Ridan.

Katsu of Kiriko and Uplift PDX, who made the first introductions to MUJI, and gracefully translated our meetings.