MUJI: Brand Concept Creates Process Innovation

  • Akiko MasudaEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Practice: Global Fashion Brand Management book series (PSP:GFBM)


MUJI is a Japanese chain of lifestyle retail brand stores that operates in 27 countries and regions with 821 stores, employing 16,195 staff including 9203 part-time staff. MUJI has continued to grow consolidated operating revenue for the past 14 years. Its brand value is US $1390 million according to Interbrand. As of the end of February 2017, 35.3% of its revenue comes from overseas operations. The brand concepts of MUJI are unique; “No Brand Logo,” simple design, and not “This is what I really want” but “This will do.” To realize these brand concepts, MUJI has a unique method of product development that includes the following three principles: (1) selection of materials, (2) streamlining the process, and (3) simplification of packaging. These concepts and original product development create process innovations. The simple streamlining of MUJI designs is naturally applicable to many different countries, and as a consequence these concepts are accepted in a diverse range of countries. In the context of its customers, MUJI has good methods and tools for communication. It has become an approachable and friendly lifestyle adviser brand, not just a simple one. The author examines how the MUJI brand concept succeeds in process innovations.


MUJI Brand concept Process innovation Communication 


  1. Arnould, E. J., & Thompson, C. J. (2005). Consumer culture theory (CCT): Twenty years of research. Journal of Consumer Research, 31(4), 868–883.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Interbrand. (2018). Best Japan brands 2018. Retrieved from
  3. Kotabe, M., & Helsen, K. (2007). Global marketing management (4th ed.). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.Google Scholar
  4. Masuda, A., & Onzo, N. (2011). Customer joined product development: MUJI case. Japan Marketing Journal, 122, 84–98 (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  5. Masuda, A. (2016). The MUJI way. Tokyo: Nikkei BP (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  6. METI (Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry). (2018). Yearbook of the current survey of commerce. Retrieved from
  7. MUJI. (n.d.). What is MUJI?. Retrieved from
  8. Nikkei. (2017, July 6). MUJI opens MUJI Hotel in Tokyo in 2019. p. 13 (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  9. Nikkei Business Daily. (2017, August 8). MUJI concentrates to open stores in China. p. 5 (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  10. Nikkei MJ. (2017, June 28). The 50th retail business sales ranking. p. 2 (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  11. Ryohin Keikaku (n.d.-a). History. Retrieved from
  12. Ryohin Keikaku (n.d.-b). 100 good things: Local Nippon. Retrieved from
  13. Ryohin Keikaku. (n.d.-c). What is MUJI? Retrieved from
  14. Ryohin Keikaku. (2005). In China, Ryohin Keikaku approved the copyright [Press release]. Retrieved from
  15. Ryohin Keikaku. (2013a). Product development project in Kyrgyzstan, Kenya, and Cambodia, approved as a BCtA initiative hosted by UNDP. Retrieved from
  16. Ryohin Keikaku. (2013b). Ryohin Keikaku Co., Ltd. receives Inclusive Business Leader Award. Retrieved from
  17. Ryohin Keikaku. (2017). Data book 2017. Retrieved from
  18. Seiyu. (1988). Mujirushi no hon, Tokyo: Libroport (in Japanese).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chiba University of CommerceChibaJapan

Personalised recommendations