The big question for businesses: to refresh or rebrand? The difference between a brand refresh and a rebrand is profound, so it’s important to get the decision right the first time. Otherwise, you risk having to do everything over in a couple of years. If you need some guidance, here’s the difference between a refresh and a rebrand, and how to know what your company really needs.

Brand refresh of a logo, with multiple sketches of logos on paper and in a notebook.

Refreshing your brand can re-imagine your visual identity and rejuvenate the look and feel of your brand

Brand Refresh

When it comes to a brand refresh, think of it as a makeover for your brand. It can help reimagine your visual identity and rejuvenate the look and feel of your company. Sounds simple, but it can go a long way towards injecting new life into your business and its performance. It also ensures your brand is keeping pace with current marketplace trends, because the last thing you want to be is behind trends and competition. Businesses that remain stagnant while their competition reinvents themselves can expect to lose their competitive edge.

As we said previously, it may sound simple, but don’t be fooled. A brand refresh can be wide-ranging and intensive. How complicated the process will depend on the extent to which you need and want to change your image. That can mean something as relatively simple as a new logo, or it can mean changing your whole brand identity, down to typography and color. After all, your brand identity is not just your logo but what makes you stand out from others, so a cohesive identity will really set you apart.

There are many reasons to do a brand refresh, but a few reasons include:

  • Modernize Your Look. Without updating your brand over the years, it may look tired and a little dated. Modernizing your logo can keep it fresh and up to date.
  • Evolution of a Company. If your company has been through a transition that is meaningful to your customers, a brand refresh is a great opportunity to integrate the new and the old.
  • Regroup Your Brand Identity. If you’ve been playing with different color schemes and logos, you’re probably confusing your audience. A refresh can help you find your focus and regroup your brand identity into a consistent look.

If a brand refresh is like a makeover of your company, a rebrand is like plastic surgery. A refresh will update your identity, but a rebrand completely transforms it. Rebranding aims to change the customer’s perception about a service or product offered by revitalizing the brand and making it appeal to existing customers or new customers. It sounds a little complicated, but it’s a signal to the market that a new strategy is in place and you are charting a new course for your company’s future. Rebrands take more time than refreshes and are more budget-intensive, but can really overhaul your company if it’s in need.

Business owners can be eager to let go of branding that isn’t working for them, but it’s critical to have a plan in place before any abandonment happens. Being too keen can make you act before you have your plan in place, and that can spell disaster.

A business can consider a rebranding for many reasons, but some are:

  • Getting Lost in Competition. If your brand is failing to differentiate itself from the competition, it’s likely time to step back and consider rebranding.
  • Your Business Model Has Changed. If your business model or strategy has changed, it can be hard for a company to adjust to that on the fly. Taking time to incorporate it by rebranding your business.
  • The Audience Has Changed. A big change in your audience is a big deal, and a rebrand will help adjust your business to your new audience.
Two people working at a desk, looking at a piece of paper with two laptops.

The way to ensure the best for your brand’s future is with in-depth research and a well-developed strategy.

Which Do You Need?

The answer to this question lies in the depth and scope of the challenges your business is facing. For cosmetic solutions, a refresh can be deeply impactful. However, a brand refresh can’t solve more deep-seated issues like positioning and misalignment like a rebrand can. No matter what, the way to ensure the best for your brand’s future is with in-depth research and a well-developed strategy.

If you’re looking for strategic brand refreshing, BPetersonDesign would love to help you out! We have a wonderful referral for graphic design if you need, and they can be paired with our website design services so your brand refresh is cohesive across your whole business. Your brand identity is the foundation of your business, so set your foundation up for success! We have been assisting small businesses with growth since 2008 and would love to help you out. We’re located in Cave Creek, Arizona, and Montrose, Colorado, but serve nationwide.