Blands – A not so bland new trend in branding? An exploratory study of the phenomenon blands

University essay from Lunds universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Abstract Purpose: A new phenomenon has emerged in the world of branding which has not yet been researched in an academic setting. Brands that look the same, feel the same, offer similar business models towards consumers but still somehow feel modern and unique at a first glance. The purpose of this exploratory paper is to define and analyze the phenomenon of blands. Methodology: A literature review was conducted to find tangents to blands from other branding concepts. The dimensions of brand personality by Aaker (1997) and Kapferer's (2012) brand positioning diamond are used as tools to explore and define blands. A qualitative exploratory study with three focus groups was conducted to examine consumers' perceptions on blands. Findings: Through the empirical findings a framework for blands was formed based on brand positioning and brand personality. This paper finds that blands are perceived as having the personality trait excitement, i.e. up-to-date, spirited and imaginative. A blands positioning can be interpreted as following: prioritizing a basic benefit, competing against traditional wellknown brands within the product category and targeting young and trendy people by providing outstanding design. Findings also show that blands do not present reasons-to-believe that support their brand promises, instead they rely on design. Original/Value: This paper is the first to explore and define blands in an academic setting, adding to previous literature about brand copying like research on me-too brands. Paper type: Research paper

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