Recently, consumers have been presented with a host of lower-cost options that sacrifice the costs of branding in order to keep prices low. Trader Joe’s does it all almost exclusively with its house brands, and Amazon gives us Amazon Basics. But Brandless is going one step further to ensure consumers have access to a supermarket’s worth of goods that all cost $3 each.
Brandless was started by two tech entrepreneurs with the guiding philosophy that “better shouldn’t cost more.” Now the concept is the buzz of both Silicon Valley and Wall Street, offering more than 200 household goods and products for $3 each. The founders, Tina Sharkey and Ido Leffler, even offer a “brand tax savings” calculator upon checkout that often demonstrates a 40% savings in choosing Brandless goods over those found at eye-level in a grocery store. Further, by selling directly online, Brandless is cutting out distribution and retailer costs that drive prices higher.
The startup is also challenging juggernaut Amazon not just with its unbranded offerings, but also its delivery time. Customers get their orders in about two days, as they would using Amazon Prime in most markets. However, unlike Amazon Prime, you’re going to pay to get your goods. Shipping is a $9 flat fee (but free if you spend more than $72), which will no doubt lead customers to buy in larger quantities than they would otherwise.
Clearly, there is a brand at play here (Brandless itself), but the organic approach toward its one-price-fits-all offerings may be enticing to those who suffer fatigue from the tolls of consumerism. The founders are betting big that the “less is more” approach will pay off in spades, and they’re ready to scale up to meet the demand that will come.
“We will absolutely scale our logistics and operations to work to delight everybody as quickly as we can,” Sharkey told NBC News.
We’ll see how consumers take to this radical departure from the offerings of mass retailers and see if they’re ready to eschew brands for simplicity and savings.
Share image via Brandless.