Free Marketing Idea of the Week: Brandless Soap

I’m quite brand-averse. That doesn’t mean I loathe Nike or Hugo Boss–I just try not to buy clothes which have visible brands. I’d rather not pay good money for clothes that advertise their makers. Though it’s not often applicable, that attitude permeates the rest of my purchases.

There are plenty of other people who feel this way. They’d prefer to live in a world–and more specifically a home–with fewer visible brands.

We happen to be using hand-pump soap here in Malta. It, of course, has a label on the bottle. Each time I wash my hands (which is often, thank you very much), I’m reminded that my hand soap is brought to me by Vidal Europa.

Hence, my marketing idea du jour: brandless soap. A company ought to flout convention wisdom and sell hand soap that offers an easy-to-remove label. They should promote this fact, making the de-brandability a brand all its own, and a difference in the largely undifferentiated world of hand soap.

Maybe somebody already does this? Interestingly, tissue boxes work this way. I wonder why that is?


  1. Maybe the tissues producers don’t want to be associated with what is happening at time of needing a tissue?
    – crying
    – wiping up mess


  2. 1) Buy a nice soap pump
    2) Buy a big hand soap bottle
    3) Fill pump with soap
    4) Wash hands
    5) Profit! (or at least, you save by buying soap in bulk)

    We actually just reuse a regular branded soap pump we bought long ago and now refill it with a different brand.

  3. We have an unbranded soap dispenser at our kitchen sink. At least, I’m pretty sure it’s not branded – it’s been there for a few months, and I don’t recall seeing a name on it. I’d recommend it to you, but I don’t know who makes it 😉

  4. i do the same and just refill with a different brand of soap to take advantage of bulk soap sales. same with shampoo, conditioner, cleaners, etc.

  5. Hmm…I see your collective points. Maybe this idea sucks. Or it’s only for the lazy AdBusters readers?

  6. I can remember as a kid trying to use my nails to dig out the brand names on soaps. The Ivory and Irish Spring bars used to have the brand names carved into them and I would always try to carve them out, sort of as a personal challenge.

    I had the cleanest nails in the neighborhood. And, I hated it when my mom bought pump soap. Where is the fun in that?

  7. The vegetable oil soaps sold at health stores like Choices have no brands on them, IIRC. But it’s been a while since I’ve looked.

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