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1. Welcome to Your Bland New World: Why do disruptive startups slavishly follow an identikit formula of business model, look and feel, and tone of voice? Because it works, sort of. What makes a brand a bland is duality: claiming simultaneously to be unique in product, groundbreaking in purpose, and singular in delivery, while slavishly obeying an identikit formula of business model, look and feel, and tone of voice. – Read More on Bloomberg

2. RETRO READ: Blanding – What Is It, How Did We Get Here and What Does it Mean Going Forward? As part of a larger trend in branding, or better yet, blanding, a growing number of high fashion and luxury brands – and other consumer goods and tech companies, as well – are looking to spartan logos, which are “designed not to stand out at all, but to blend in.” – Read More on TFL

3. RELATED READ: How Can You Protect Branding That Barely Even Exists? Minimal branding does not mean non-distinctive branding. Consider the logos of Chanel and Calvin Klein, for example. The companies’ branding is clean and streamlined, and it is replicated across the product lines (i.e., on beauty and fragrances, as well as on ready-to-wear and accessories) and across media channels, working on the assumption that repeated customer exposure creates recognition, which builds reputation, which generates sales. – Read More on TFL

4. Neiman Marcus Approved to Exit Bankruptcy After Critic’s Arrest: The luxury retailer is poised to come out of bankruptcy having shed $4 billion of its more than $5 billion debt load. Neiman will have new owners, including Pacific Investment Management Co., Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP and Sixth Street Partners LLC. Pimco will be the largest shareholder, controlling three of the company’s seven board seats, according to court records. – Read More on the Wall Street Journal

5. The pandemic is changing the future of fashion and shopping: The pandemic’s role as an accelerant can be seen and felt across the entire fashion and beauty landscape. “COVID has made us speed up like five to 10 years.” – Read More on the LA Times

6. The Fashion Industry’s Ties to Forced Labor, by the Numbers: One in five – that’s roughly how many cotton garments in the global apparel market include cotton or yarn that can be traced back to forced labor in the Chinese province of Xinjiang, according to End Uyghur Forced Labor, a human rights coalition. – Read More on Marker