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Brand Refresh vs. Rebrand

Do you need a brand refresh or a full rebrand?

Brands aren’t static; they need to be updated or overhauled from time-to-time to appear current and relevant, target new markets, or reposition themselves. But how do you know when it’s time for a change, and if you need a brand refresh, or a full rebrand?

A brand refresh is like a new coat of paint

You need a brand refresh when your brand is solid at its core, but it needs an update to appear current, reflect how your offer has evolved, keep pace with your competitors, or expand your reach into new markets. It usually results in an updated logo and tagline, new colours and fonts, and some new messaging. The look and feel is different, but the underlying structure and integrity remain the same.

On average, businesses refresh their brands every 3 to 5 years, depending on their industry: beauty and fashion brands need to stay on top of trends and they refresh more often, while banks might refresh every 5+ years. If you’re wondering if it’s time for an update, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is our current image moving us forward, or holding us back?
  • Does our messaging accurately reflect what we offer? Does it communicate who we are now?
  • Has our market shifted since we first developed our brand, and are we still reaching the right audience?
  • Are we developing a new product line or service?
  • Do we spend a lot of time explaining to potential customers what we do, and what we’re capable of?
  • How do our visuals and messaging look and sound next to our competitors’?

Although the changes in a brand refresh are largely cosmetic, it will only be effective if you set some goals and develop a strategy. You need to know what you want to achieve from your refresh, and how you’re going to do it. Do your research and brainstorm with your team; look at everything from your brand personality, to the market’s perception of your brand, to your unique selling points, and think about what you need to communicate to remain relevant.

A rebrand is a major construction project

If a refresh updates your identity, a rebrand completely transforms it. Companies rebrand when they need to reinvent and reposition themselves within the current market, or want to establish themselves in a different market. Rebrands signal a fundamental change in direction and the process is similar to creating a new brand from scratch – it requires a deep dive into your organization to recreate how you express yourself to the world, and the experience you offer.

Afresh brand identity keeps you competitive

Both a rebrand and a refresh can have a huge impact on the perception of who you are. Companies that remain stagnant while their competitors reinvent themselves with fresh looks and messaging may lose their competitive edge. Customers like to see that you’re evolving along with their needs, and that the brand they’re associated with is current and relevant. Investors and employees want to work with companies who are perceived as leading the field with fresh ideas.

At Indalma, we’ve been reimagining our brand’s look and feel in a refresh project that will reflect how our business has evolved over the past 5 years – stay tuned for the results!