“It is there only. It is just good enough. It should remain in the future.”Masaaki Kanai
We’ve always tried to attract customers who says ‘this applies to me’ rather than customers who say ‘this is what I want’ or ‘I must have this’.Masaaki Kanai
“Not this is what I want, but this will do.”
- What clicked with us was that there’s a very fine line between the mindset of the two demographics. One sees desire in a product – a want. The other sees functionality and usefulness – a need. It’s the latter that they are trying to attract and it speaks a lot about how they go about their thought process when designing their products. It’s never about the novelty, but more so the functionality.
MUJI does house visits, ‘Observation’
- It’s not just about talking and brainstorming ideas, but really understanding the needs of their demographics. MUJI calls it ‘Observation’, in which teams of 3 to 4 are sent to homes in their original state. The teams would then observe and look at the problems or areas that can be improved.
Masaaki Kanai mentioned that by doing this, they are “grabbing the essence firmly after observing the lifestyle of people, instead of focusing on what competitors are thinking of”. Often times, brands are focusing on what their competitors are doing, and improving or adapting from that. Instead, MUJI steers away from that by putting their customers first, and attending to their real needs. He was also trying to promote the need to go from an egoistic society, to an altruistic one.
MUJI is not a mere selection of products. Our pursuit is to be an attentive aggregate that foresees the small happenings, the daily life to the global issue.Masaaki Kanai
Promoting the lost art of Rice Reaping & Harvesting
- Another project they’ve started is MUJI Lab, where they work on how to link urban and rural lifestyles. The one that they were working on earlier in March, was rice reaping. It’s not only a lost art but the farmers working on rice fields in Kamogawa, Chiba, are also growing older and it’s difficult for them to keep up with the labour. Thus, MUJI Lab sought the help of their customers and those in urban environments, to take part in rice reaping. Not just for the experience, but to also understand their co-existence with nature, while building a community.
Masaaki Kanai: “We want to give utmost importance to the place where action takes place and develop a culture and a system on a global scale, in which every individual involved with MUJI practices ‘conscience and creativity’ continuously”.
MUJI is, enough.
- If what they stand for is still not clear enough, he added, “We want to be just like water. Calm, essential, always nearby giving us rest and richness. It has not the brilliance of liquor, nor does it attract us like perfume.”
Their commitment to push the boundaries beyond just selling of household items, to creating communities and giving recognition to lost art is enough proof of their dedication towards the values they uphold. FUSSY is definitely, a fan.
Chairman and Representative Director of Ryohin Keikaku