Brand Matters 4 – The Business Of Blanding - Smith

Brand Matters 4 – The Business Of Blanding

Brand Matters 4 – The Business Of Blanding

At Smith, we think there’s a blanding epidemic going on. 

In a nutshell, blanding is having a generic visual identity, careful messaging, and a lack of personality.

We see a lot of businesses that have great offers, yet they’re being missed because they blend into a sea of sameness.

They’re blanding, not branding. 

No matter the business, the goal is to attract opportunity in some form. Whether sales, staff, donations or partnerships; you want to be noticed. 

Whether you are selling ambulances or face cream, online or offline, you’re always being compared to others and you’re always fighting for attention. 

Here are four insights on why you should brand bravely:


Branding To Standout


Be Bold. Be Brave.

We’re living in the digital age. According to Statista, 70% of advertising is now digital. 

We also find that most of our clients are selling digitally. They may have brochures, packaging, and trade show exhibitions, but most of their marketing spend is in digital channels.

With the information superhighway flooding the senses of your target audience, you need to stand out in this hyper-competitive environment more so than ever before. 

We’ve found that the bolder the branding, the greater the impact

Some of the bold brands we’ve launched people haven’t liked at first, because they’re disruptive – but over time, this becomes their competitive advantage.

Being salient aligns with how the brain processes information. The Von Restorff effect, also known as the isolation effect, states that we are more likely to remember items that stand out as unique or different from others. 

We are naturally drawn to these distinctive elements, which increases the likelihood of recalling them in the future

Better to be noticed than missed.


Branding To Hack The Brain


Hack the brain

Our brains process information in two ways. As Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman says, we use System One for 90% of our decision-making. It’s fast, automatic and intuitive.

Whereas, System Two, is where we make slow, thoughtful decisions. It’s when we’re playing chess or working out what house to buy – it takes up far more mental energy and processing power.

Whatever you’re selling, your product or service is going to fall into either System One or Two. 

If you’re selling chocolate bars, you’re more likely to fall into system one. But, if you’re selling a high-ticket item that requires customers to research and make an informed decision, you’re working with System Two.

Bold branding will help both. It helps you capture attention, be memorable and shape perceptions – to ultimately drive desirable action. 

Understand whether you’re selling a high-consideration item that requires lots of information or something that could be bought instantly, and then brand your business accordingly.

Branding Patterns


See The Patterns And Break Them

There are always patterns in how brands look, in every industry. Usually, certain market segments have the same approach to marketing, and from a visual point of view, the only real difference is colour.

The legal landscape is awash with navy. Telecommunications and manufacturers are consistently blue. They all use similar imagery to each other; people in offices, looking over paper and waving their hands in a meeting.

This happens because businesses copy what’s normal in the industry rather than seeing the industry through the customer’s eyes. 

Observe the patterns in your industry and break them. You don’t always have to be radical in this, but make sure you’re designing to differentiate.

In Behavioural science, there is something called the Von Restorf Effect. This effect illustrates that things that are unique, distinctive or different from a similar group of items are more likely to be remembered.



Humanise To Optimise

Humanise To Optimise

Lots of businesses with blanding issues don’t realise they’re communicating to humans.

The best brands connect with their audience. They humanise what they do.

Humans make decisions based on how they feel. Yet so many businesses out there don’t have a drop of emotion in their communications. 

Understand that whoever is looking at your business is a real person. Whether it’s B2B, B2G or B2C, at the other end of the communication is a person.

A person who doesn’t want to make the wrong decision, who’s itching to be led in the right direction, and whose decisions can be influenced
based on how you make them feel. 

Think feelings over features.





Most marketers try to tell the world everything at once, and come away with nothing sticking in their audience’s mind.

Simplicity cuts through the noise.

Step one in any marketing strategy is to get attention first.

Once you have attention, then you can start communicating why they should choose you over others. 

Make the message simple, human and emotionally relevant. Make decisions easy for them.  

According to Decision Lab, we make 35,000 decisions a day. Simplifying choice not only helps you look more attractive, but it helps you stand out.

When others say everything, do the opposite. Say very little.

Don’t let blanding hold you back.

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Born to be effective, not decorative, we’re here to drive growth for our clients. With a mixture of capabilities, we partner with clients who place brand at the centre of their business.

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