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How to Build Your Bland

Nick Hall By Nick Hall

Few words have infiltrated the boardroom PowerPoint presentation as much as the word Blanding. But what exactly is a Bland, and how do you get one?

Well, a Bland is the creative union of your product and the emotion you personally feel for it. Caution must be taken not to appear too emotional or different, however, as these things tend to scare people. You'll know you are successful when your own personal research proves that customers both understand and are adopting your Bland's values.

Whether you’re looking to start a new Bland, or think it might be time for a ReBland, the following tips will prove most helpful:

The Bland Strategy

This is where it all starts. Gather as many of your senior people as you can and start to define the Bland. Try to ensure that everyone has their say, as they will all have unique perspectives. Then, look for the common “catchy” words or phrases that everyone agrees with (i.e. Service, Experience, Value).

These are the jewels your communications people will thank you for later.

The Bland Promise

While it’s important to say something about what your product does, actually promising customers anything can get you into trouble quickly. Be careful not to go out on a limb and establish any expectations. A good place to start is by seeing what your competition offers and then do the same.

If that’s not possible, try a “competitive pricing strategy”. Cheap could be your niche.

The Bland Personality

The last thing you want to do is alienate or offend anyone, so the objective here is to try to appeal to as many people as possible. Use well established words like quality, commitment and excellence in your communications (words taken directly from your Mission or Vision statement often work here). For real impact, try catchy combinations, such as: “A commitment to quality excellence” or “Uncompromising excellence with a commitment to quality” or, better still “Committed to an uncompromising commitment to excellent quality.”

Bland Equity

When your Bland starts to feel stale to you, change it! Don't be distracted by words like equity or established value. Too much thinking impedes action. A key benefit of having a Bland is that - if carefully ReBlanded – hardly anyone notices the change and you can continue to use your old business cards.

The Power of the Bland

If you are true to your Bland and inspire others to aspire to its values, soon every department, from customer service to manufacturing, will become living, breathing examples of your Bland.

And remember, there will be other Blands. In fact a whole world of Blands, many of them just like yours. But in your heart you will know you are the leader.

Long Live the Bland.