Brandless™ | Weekly Report for January 19, 2018



My colleague Kent “All-Natural” Brockwell recently turned me onto Brandless™, a Silicon Valley start-up that sells generic groceries to Millennials. The premise is that younger adults will forgo brand name items and buy their food and household goods in basic, unbranded pouches. Think of it as like Dollar General, but instead of buying stuff for a dollar, everything is $3. Huh? Wait a minute…


The company says that it saves you money by not buying brand names. But you’re really not. A few reasons. For one, shipping is $3 or more. Always. Secondly, everything is either vegan, non-GMO, sustainable, gluten free or fair trade. And that means it costs more, regardless if it’s a brand name.


Brandless™ sells a 4.5 ounce bag of “Toasted Coconut Cookie Thins” for $3, plus shipping. For comparison, you can get the same size bag of Mrs. Thinster’s Coconut Cookies at Walmart for $2.68, and they are also non-GMO, vegan and tasteless. For me, I’ll take a 14.3 ounce bag of Oreo’s for $2.74. They may or may not be vegan, but man o’ man they taste great.


I surfed Brandless.com and just imagined this was the precipice of a socialist, Orwellian future. Everything is the same price. Everything looks the same. And everything is “certified.” But then I saw it. Brandless, which claims to be the Anti-Brand is basically just another brand. The logo is trademarked, after all, and listen to this not-so-generic description of their coconut cookies:


Brandless Toasted Coconut Cookie Thins have no preservatives and no artificial colors but full of coconut-y flavor and crunch. Crumble them over ice cream, dip them in tea, or eat them straight from the pouch. Each cookie thin is delightfully crisp and delectable.


Before you runoff and buy Brandless products, remember that Solyent Green was also a brand….and 100% organic.


Monday, January 15 – MLK Day


On Monday, we paused to reflect on Dr. King’s great achievements, and I found this remastered video of his “I Have a Dream” speech, and it gave me goosebumps.


We also played interoffice musical chairs when we moved our creative department staff from the first floor to the second floor and Client Services Coordinator Haleigh Lader and Account Manager Leanne Ferry moved up to the third floor, a.k.a. the Executive Suite.

Haleigh and Leanne moved into their new office on Monday. Welcome to the top floor, ladies!


Tuesday, January 16 – Virginia Home Show!


We sent PR intern Taylor Burress out on the road to deliver tickets for the Virginia Home Show, which is next weekend at Meadow Event Park. She made some RVA mortgage brokers, realtors, home insurance agents, and other fabulous friends in the real estate biz very happy.


Communications Manager Kent Brockwell was also out at CW Richmond to spread the good word about the show. He’s featured in a 60-second TV spot that is airing now. The biggest beard in RVA is coming to a small screen near you.


Hey, do you want to join us at the show? I can help you save $2 on tix to the Virginia Home Show. Just enter offer code “DAVE” at checkout.


Wednesday, January 17 – Snow Day


This stuff is getting old. While Richmond received a light dusting, my neighborhood in Chesterfield got popped with 5 inches of snow. I think Queen Elsa has it in for me.


During the day I got a note from OurHealth Richmond magazine writer Cathy Brown. She wrote a nice feature regarding my recent health scare. I turned 50, got a colonoscopy, and #BeatCancer. Writing about such a “delicate” procedure is not something I ever imagined, but I felt that it was important to share my story because early screenings save lives.


OurHealth Richmond magazine interviewed me about my recent health scare.

Thursday, January 18 – Two-Hour Delay


For the first time in Madison+Main’s glorious 12-year history, we opened the office two hours late on Thursday. People thought it was due to icy road conditions, but in fact it gave me time to chill out after a horribly depressing VCU Rams loss to The University of South Jersey – Westhampton Campus.


The Calendar!


New Kent Winery’s Trivia & Pizza Night

TONIGHT! 6-9 p.m.


Trivia Night is back by popular demand! Join our friends at New Kent Winery TONIGHT for some trivia, great wine, and delicious pizza. You can also get cheese, pepperoni, and vegetable pizzas, which you can pre-order online. #mmmmm #pizza



Virginia Home Show

Meadow Event Park

January 27-28


The Virginia Home Show returns to the Farm Bureau Center at Meadow Event Park NEXT WEEKEND!. This exciting two-day event produced by Marketplace Events offers attendees a convenient chance to shop, compare, and save with hundreds of experts in remodeling, kitchen and bath, flooring, and more all gathered under one roof. Use promo code DAVE to save $2 on tickets!


FC Richmond Juggle Challenge

March 5-6 | Huguenot Park

Youth soccer players from FC Richmond will be putting their fanciest footwork on display for a good cause this March. The club is hosting a Juggle Challenge to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, as well as the club’s new soccer complex development in Moseley, VA. Stay tuned for details on how you can donate.

The delayed start also gave me time to meet Nicole Brown Alford, the sales and marketing director at Thunderbolt Indoor Karting. Nicole was interoduced to me by our mutual friends Walter Cornett of PRO Richmond. I enjoyed learning more about Thunderbolt and meeting Nicole, whose husband is my son Jack‘s favorite PE teacher/coach at Manchester High School. #CoachCookie


Friday, January 19 – Prof. Art Webb


Creative Director Art Webb told us his life story today at our Madison+Main-iac University lunch for and we all teared up just a little. Last fall we began conducting employee training lunches where M+M teammates share knowledge. With stints at Circuit City, Allianz, Media General, and several other agencies, Art had plenty to share.

Sr. Graphic Designer Kaity Carr donated blood at today’s CowanGates blood drive.


“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person.”

– Jeff Bezos