What’s the difference between rebranding and a brand refresh?

What’s the difference between rebranding and a brand refresh? What’s the difference between rebranding and a brand refresh?  Surely it’s the same thing?  Actually, its not. 

When you’re looking from the outside in, it’s easy to confuse them especially when so many companies seem to be evolving, changing, and adapting on what seems to be a continual loop but are they rebranding or refreshing their brand?

While (as with most things) when you get into the detail the different between rebranding and a brand refresh are stark.  An easy way to explain the difference is to think of a refresh as giving your house a fresh lick of paint so it remains attractive and stands out from the tired houses surrounding it.

Typically, a brand refresh will include:

  • Tweaking your current logo
  • Updating your design and brand guidelines
  • Updating your strapline
  • Updating your colour pallet
  • Updating your font
  • Refreshing your marketing materials in line with your new brand guidelines

Meanwhile a rebrand is an altogether more decisive course of action.  A rebrand involves tearing down your house and completely rebuilding it, a process that could involve:

  • Creating a brand new personality
  • Completely overhauling your design, font, palette, and tone of voice
  • Revamping your messaging
  • Adapting your brand to access new markets

When is it time for a brand refresh?

Most of the time, a brand refresh will be enough.  Obviously, it is a lower risk than a complete rebranding but executed properly  a brand refresh will help you:

  • Preserve the integrity of your brand.
  • Give your business a new image and a new energy
  • Ensure your brand is current and keeping up with a changing market and changing customer expectations
  • Expand your appeal to new markets and new audiences

But how do you know when it’s time for a brand refresh?

We’d suggest it’s when one or more of the following come up in conversations at board level and/or from client feedback:

  • You look outdated
  • Your business has fundamentally changed
  • Your market has fundamentally changed
  • Your brand is confused or inconsistent
  • You’ve outgrown your original/traditional market

When it is time to rebrand?

The ultimate goal of rebranding is to influence and change your customers’ opinion of your company/product/services.  It will revitalise your public perception and make your company/product/services more attractive to your target market/s.

However, it is a big job.  It requires time, budget, and effort.  That means it must be done for the right reasons and in our experience these reasons include:

  • It’s time to reposition your company/product/services
  • You want to appeal to a new or larger market
  • You need to set yourself apart from your competitors
  • Your competition has increased so you brand needs to evolve to keep pace
  • Your audience has changed
  • You want to market new  products or services
  • Your marketing no longer works as it should
  • Your current brand identity looks out-of-date
  • Your market’s expectations have changed

But always be aware that even if one or more of these factors are relevant to you, a rebranding can be dangerous unless it’s done right.  

You are gambling on the launch of a brand new image, one your customers and market will (initially) be unfamiliar with so you need to be absolutely sure that your new branding is right, recognisable and resonant.

Is rebranding or a brand refresh right for you?

Eventually, every brand needs to change.  Tastes change, demands change and sometimes your brand can just get a bit stale.  However, the extent to which you change depends on you. 

If you think your brand is fundamentally good, a refresh is probably all that’s required. 

If you think it’s time to do something or be something totally new, you probably want to consider a rebrand.

If you think it’s time to either refresh your brand or rebrand altogether, please get in touch.  We can help you decide which is the best option and, once you make that decision, create the new brand you need.

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