Consumer Minimalism: The KonMari Lifestyle Brand



Case Code :CLMM141
Publication date :2020
Period :2010-2020
Subject :Marketing Management
Industry :Business & Consumer Services
Organization :KonMari Media, Inc.
Length : 8 pages
Teaching Note :Available
Country :United States


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Abstract: ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India RSS Feed

The case ‘Consumer Minimalism: The KonMari Lifestyle Brand’ details how Marie Kondo (Marie), a young Japanese woman, capitalized on the trend of consumer minimalism to build a business through her company KonMarie Inc. Her de-cluttering and organizing method, called the KonMari MethodTM, helped her achieve a self-worth of US$8 million in a decade.

Marie had had a penchant for cleaning and organizing her home since childhood. By the time she turned 19 in 2003, her friends began offering her money for her tidying services.. After graduation, though she took up regular employment at a staffing agency, she began to offer her tidying services as a part-time professional service. Marie soon had a waiting list of customers that stretched over six months. Realizing the business potential in this concept, Marie quit her regular job and converted her side hustle into a full-time business.

The case then focuses on the various promotional initiatives including book publishing, talk shows, working with celebrities, and appearing in a Netflix series that led to Marie becoming a celebrity in Japan and later in the US. Finally, the case describes how she leveraged her image to build the KonMari brand and diversify into other revenue streams like designing and selling work related products and content, conducting coaching programs on work life management and certification programs to become a KonMari consultant, and launching an online store selling home products. The case ends with the stake sale of KonMarie Inc. to Rakuten followed by Marie’s foray into selling premium online home products.


» Importance of understanding consumer trends to create business opportunities.
» Understand the approaches to positioning and branding for a small business.
» Be aware of the benefits of individual brand equity.
» Learn how to leverage your core brand to diversify and scale up your business.
» Understand the founder’s challenge of continuing business philosophy post stake sale.


Marie Kondo (Marie), a well-known minimalist home tidying and de-cluttering expert and the author of bestselling self-help books on tidying, was also the founder of KonMari Media, Inc., a US-based lifestyle brand. The brand offered a range of products, content, and services designed to help customers in organizing their homes. Marie christened her minimalism-inspired tidying and decluttering method the KonMari MethodTM. This method focused on tidying and de-cluttering houses category-by-category instead of room-by-room with the ultimate aim of creating houses that sparked joy for its occupants. (Exhibit I briefly details the KonMari MethodTM). She successfully promoted her concept as the protagonist in “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” a successful series on Netflix..

Key words:
Consumer Minimalism; Millennial Behavior; Brand Equity; Experiential Marketing; Consumerism; KonMari; Marie Kondo; Branding; Decluttering; Lifestyle methods, Social media; Brand Extension"

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