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Rebranding VS Brand Refresh

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Are you stuck in the middle between rebranding vs brand refresh? Click to learn the differences between the two and determine which is right for your company.

r to giving a house a new coat of paint. There isn’t much to do, but a small change can make a big difference in how the environment feels. 

Here are some common things that happen during a company brand refresh:

  • Making a small change to the company’s logo
  • Rethinking current packaging/imaging
  • Using a new font
  • Changing the company’s color pallet
  • Refreshing social media pages
  • Updating content marketing materials

As you can tell, the differences between rebranding and brand refresh are distinct. However, there are some more details that we should distinguish.

What Is a Company Rebranding?

A company rebrand completely transforms the business. Rather than sticking to surface-level details, a rebrand goes under the surface.

Rebranding involves looking at everyIt takes five to seven impressions for someone to remember a brand. If a business’ branding is consistent across all of its platforms, it can increase revenue by up to 23%.

Together, these two ground-breaking statistics tell us two things:

  1. A business’ brand matters
  2. The way that customers see that brand matters more

The focus on customer experience is relatively new, and more and more companies are coming to realize just how important customer relationships are. In turn, many businesses are doing a company makeover.

With most organizations, the decision comes down to rebranding vs brand refresh.

If you’re looking to change your company’s image, you may want to consider the same kind of change. This means that you need to understand the differences between rebranding and refreshing. Plus, you’ll need to understand when to use each.

To learn more, keep reading.

Company Rebranding vs Brand Refresh

The two terms may sound similar, but the differences between them couldn’t be clearer.

A rebranding strategy involves tearing everything down and starting over. During a company rebrand, it’s redefining itself by doing things like this:

  • Revamping the company’s personality
  • Rewriting goals, purposes, and missions
  • Expanding or switching into different markets
  • Reworking your brand’s entire image

On the other hand, a brand refresh is simila single detail of your business and critically analyzing it against current trends and needs.

Companies undergo rebrands to change their image. This may be useful after a dip in reputation or a change in customer perception.

When Is It Time for a Company Rebranding?

There are plenty of reasons that a company may want to undergo a complete rebranding process:

  • The company needs to respond to a change in competition
  • The company’s audience is changing in either composition or opinion
  • The company wants to branch out into making new products and/or offering new services
  • The company’s marketing methods aren’t working anymore
  • The company’s identity and/or personality isn’t current
  • The company’s industry has changed

If any of these scenarios apply to your company, it’s time to completely reconstruct your business. It may seem like a big undertaking (because it is), but it’s worth it.

If you decide against doing a company rebrand, you may end up paying for it later. As time passes, your company will become more and more out of date. Eventually, your company could fail.

Luckily, you’re here and you aren’t going to let that happen.

How Can I Make a Rebranding Strategy?

A rebranding strategy can be as big or as small as you make it. However, since any rebranding strategy involves looking at the inner workings of the business, you should consider hiring an outside professional.

Not only can a professional help you make better decisions, but he/she can also give a third-party objective perspective about your business.

With this professional’s help, you can make a better plan for your company’s makeover.

1. Define

First, you need to define your company’s ‘why.’ Why are you doing this brand refresh? Why does it matter?

After defining the ‘why,’ your business will be able to make better choices about the things that it wants to change.

Different companies are going to have different goals. So, your ‘why’ is likely going to be different than another company’s ‘why.’

2. Research

Next, you need to do some research. You need to evaluate what your competitors are doing and look at your industry as a whole.

The research stage will help your team identify the best things to change during the rebrand. It’ll also help your company determine what kind of responses they can expect from the changes.

3. Specify

Your team needs to identify what kind of changes it wants to make. Usually, businesses choose one kind of thing to change during a rebrand.

They could be focusing on messaging, imagery, or something else. Differentiating the subject or topic that you’re focusing on can help accelerate the rebrand process.

4. Messaging

Now, it’s time to get the word out there about the rebrand. You may not want to reveal everything at the start, but you should try to hype up your audience beforehand.

Post teasers, make statements, and get ready to wow them.

Once you launch, it’s time to show them what changes you’ve made.


What Is a Company Brand Refresh?

In most cases, companies undergo a brand refresh as a tactical maneuver. The depth of the brand refresh depends on how much the company wants to change. 

Usually, companies perform brand refreshes to affect how their customers see and feel about them. In other words, a company that performs a brand refresh is trying to improve its reputation. 

To do this, you have to alter your brand voice, change your visual branding, and reevaluate your product offerings.

Without regular brand refreshes, your company may fall behind in comparison to other companies. If you want your brand to stay competitive, it has to stay current in the market. This requires small changes every once in a while.

The most common brand refresh occurs with brand logos. It’s popular for companies to change their logos every few years as trends and styles shift.

By making these small changes, you’re showing your audience that you’re willing to make changes for the better of your company. Without these small refreshes, your company would grow stale. But, by showing that you’re able to keep up with the current times, you’re showing your audience that their interest is more important than your old persona.

In the end, brand refreshes tell audiences that your business is modern and relevant. More importantly, a refresh shows that you’re connected to changes in the industry as well as interests among your target audience.

This forward-thinking will also make it more likely that other businesses will see you as an authority. This is especially if you’re one of the companies that are establishing new trends in the industry.

Many businesses also believe that a bunch of smaller refreshes will lengthen the amount of time until the next rebrand that your company needs to do. So, a company that performs brand refreshes more often is going to save more money over time.

When Is It Time for a Brand Refresh?

Usually, companies opt for a simple brand refresh rather than a complex one. Smaller brand refreshes don’t require as much money, skill, or energy. Plus, there’s less risk in making small changes.

There are a few advantages to making small changes over big ones:

  1. You can preserve your brand’s current popularity
  2. You can bring in something new and exciting for customers
  3. You can make updates to your company without having to fund a complete overhaul of your brand
  4. You can reach new leads and increase your conversion rate

If a company were to opt for a larger set of changes, it may not be able to continue appealing to its audience. In other words, the business’ audience may not appreciate the changes that the business is making.

With this in mind, there are a few scenarios during which a business should consider a brand refresh:

  1. If your business is outdated in comparison to other companies in its industry or similar industries
  2. If your business is no longer following its original goals, missions, and values
  3. If your business is inconsistent in practices and outcomes
  4. If your target audience has changed whether slowly over time or quickly
  5. If your business is growing so much that old procedures aren’t cutting it

If your business falls under one of these scenarios, it may be time for a small change. If not, it may not be time for you to make a change yet.

We should note that brand refreshes should happen every other month. Making small changes shows that you’re up-to-date, but making too many changes could come off as unorganized.

If you’re going to undergo a brand refresh, you want to make sure that you’re doing the refresh for a reason. You shouldn’t do it in any situation. Rather, you should make sure that you and your team have a ‘why.’

With your ‘why,’ your team can create goals that can help guide the brand refresh. Without these guides, your business may be making small changes too much.

How Can I Make a Brand Refresh Strategy?

Brand refreshes are much easier to plan and execute. You don’t need to hire any analysts or consultants. Brand refreshes only involve a little bit of research.

More specifically, your team needs to look at your business’ competitors, review the kind of change(s) that your business wants to make and create a creative plan for the refresh.

A brand refresh shouldn’t take everything out of your team. And, there shouldn’t be much planning involved.

Of course, your team needs to create a strong plan. But, they shouldn’t go overboard with changing things around.

A brand refresh shouldn’t change the underlying structure of a business. So, if your team is doing more than changing surface-level details, you’re doing too much.

Once your team decides on a couple of small details to tweak, they can get started with developing a proper strategy.

1. Research

As we said, your team needs to research before they start implementing anything. You need to anticipate anything and everything that could come about because of the change.

As you’re conducting research, you need to look at your place in the market, your place concerning competitors, and how your changes could affect your business. The more information you gather, the better the refresh will be.

2. Competition

You should always keep one eye on the competition. By looking at past refreshes that competitors have done, you can decide whether or not your team should go forward with the changes.

You should also pay attention to the greater industry. You can look at upcoming trends, popular changes, and more.

Remember, you don’t necessarily have to make the same changes as other companies. But, you can learn a lot based on how those businesses’ audiences reacted to the changes.

3. Visuals

If your company is undergoing a brand refresh, your team is likely considering a visual change as well. Your team may be updating the logo or changing the colors.

Even if your team isn’t planning on changing any visuals, you should still take a look at them. This includes examining your logo, your color pallet, your fonts, your photographs, your social media guides, your website design, and more.

After looking at trends in the industry, you may find that you need to make a small update. As you’re making these changes, you should stray away from copying other companies in the industry.

4. Voice

Lastly, your team should look at your business’s tone of voice. Visuals are important, but the way that you’re interacting with customers may matter even more.

Take the time to sit down and look at the personality of your business. You may want to adjust the tone of your voice to better fit today’s audience.

Starting Your Company Makeover

Distinguishing rebranding vs brand refresh is easy. At least, we hope it is after reading all of this information about it.

Whether your company decides to do a rebrand or a refresh, you can count on us.

Our team can help you make the most of any changes that you’re making. Check out our services today.


Abdulaziz Aldhubaib

My expertise in digital transformation and agile processes helps people overcome technological barriers.

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