Blanding is the worst branding trend of 2018 we never noticed. The main offenders are in tech, where a new army of clones wears a uniform of brand camouflage. The formula is sort of a brand paint-by-numbers. Start with a made-up-word name. Put it in a sans-serif typeface. Make it clean and readable, with just the right amount of white space. Use a direct tone of voice. Nope, no need for a logo. Maybe throw in some cheerful illustrations. Just don’t forget the vibrant colours. Bonus points for purple and turquoise. Blah blah blah.
And I do mean blah.
Brands aren’t created in a vacuum; they’re products of the world around them. Formed in relief around the strengths and weaknesses of the competition, a brand is as much about what it isn’t as what it is. The point is differentiation; by definition, that’s what branding is. Which is precisely why I’m so baffled by blanding. It is designed not to stand out at all, but to blend in. With results that are, in a word, bland.