However, even when we talk about the products that directly deal with our body, we tend to forget about the alienating nature of “big-ness.”
A tooth brush stand is not a product that we go crazy about. But that does not mean we are totally happy with the current offerings. My complaint is that the stand accumulates water at the bottom and easily gets rancid. Or, if you are young and living in a studio with a small bathroom sink, a regular toothbrush stand may look awkwardly out of size.
But since we just generally believe that “the bigger the better,” nobody really gave any serious thought to what the right size and design should be.…. until MUJI put their own little one on the market.
Toothbrush stand by MUJI. Image courtesy of Ryohin Keikaku
It was an instantaneous hit.
The designer of this tooth brush stand was not happy with MUJI’s then-offering, which was for five brushes (the more, the better right?) It was taking up too much space on his small sink that he shared with his partner. So he decided to design a stand for a single brush.
He designed it by being very cognitive of the surroundings of a toothbrush stand: it needed to fit on small sinks nicely. It had to have fewer angles so it wouldn’t accumulate water. But it had to be sturdy enough to stand on its own.
Then, something interesting happened.
Not only was the product well received, it unleashed the users’ creativity. People started using it for various purposes even MUJI didn’t expect. And they bragged about their ideas on social media. This product is now one of MUJI’s longest selling items.