There is something arresting about MUJI’s porcelain toothbrush stand. Even though, or exactly because it’s so small, you are drawn to it the moment you see it – and can’t help picking it up, holding it, feeling it on your palm, and saying: “What is this cute little thing?”
Toothbrush stand by MUJI. Image courtesy of Ryohin Keikaku
Customers were thrilled…it became an instantaneous hit.
Then, something interesting happened.
Not only was the product well received, it engaged customers by unleashing their creativity. Customers first reacted: “what is this cute, small thing?” And when they found out that it was a toothbrush stand that could come in different colors, they started buying multiples of them to use for other various functions. The proliferation of the applications were way beyond what MUJI had expected. And customers bragged about their ideas on social media. This product is now one of MUJI’s longest selling items.
This is the power of condensation. Unlike conventional toothbrush stands, this product is literally APPREHENDABLE: you can hold it, feel it, and move it around as you like. And holding and touching will help you understand the product at a deeper level, by connecting you directly to it. When you truly understand it, you are ready to unleash your creativity to design the application on your own. If a conventional toothbrush stand was ALIENATING, this one is ENGAGING.