Five Reasons Why ‘Blanding’ Could be Here to Stay

Blanding: noun, bland-ing

The activity of striping out any uniqueness in a product or companies brand expression. Resulting in an experience lacking in individuality etc.
“They are busy blanding our website”

We’ve heard a lot about it over the last couple of years and it seems reasonable to say that the inevitable backlash has already begun. But is it too soon to brush ‘blanding’ under the carpet as just another passing fashion?

Cover Photo: David Vintner @davidvintiner.com

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Look Closely and you may be able to spot the difference ( L to R top row, Airbnb, Saint Lauren, Spotify. Bottom row, Uber, Celine, Dropbox)

Most of what we hear about ‘blanding’ centres on the trend of simple san serif logos. But more broadly it’ can be seen as a general lack of differentiation in most of the companies and products that we interact with every day. In the last 10 years we’ve witnessed the homogenisation of everything from visual expression and verbal identity to product design and customer experience. Walking into…


10 essential rules for life and work in China

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A couple of years ago while working in Shanghai a list of rules were doing the rounds on WeChat and whilst they are just a bit of fun and now a tad old news, they still make me smile and deserved sharing and unpacking. So here we are the 10 essential rules for life and work in China (revisited):

1. Everything is possible in China

“The land of opportunity and riches” well maybe two decades ago but things are a little more settled now. The boom years of China may be in the past, but the scale and ambition is still growing. Things happen bigger, faster and infinitely more fantastical in China than anywhere I’ve experienced in the world. It’s an adventure just trying to hold on.

2. Nothing is easy

Every silver lining has a cloud and this is definitely China’s. Once on the ground, you’ll quickly discover that nothing quite works the same. …


The infancy of “New Retail” in China.

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Murder on the high street. As the carnage continues on the UK high street it’s not hard to guess who may be next in line. It’s even become something of a perverse sport for my wife and I as we stroll down our local shopping parade and spot out brands we think will no longer be there in 12 months time. Sadly this morbid game is all too easy and rarely does it come as any great surprise when we see the names on the latest list of casualties. At a rate of 14 store closures a day (according to…

David Mineyama-Smithson

Twenty years of branding experience across four countries in three continents. Helping brands better understand who they are, and how to bring that to life.

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