Brand Refresh versus Rebrand?

Should I Rebrand VS Brand Refresh Banner

When is it right to refresh your brand versus a complete rebrand?

Rebranding is massive!

Not only the impact both internally and externally for the business, but it’s a huge project to undertake for all involved.

That’s why rebranding usually correlates with an equally massive change, or significant shift for a business, like one of the following:

  • Ownership change
  • Maturation of business
  • Expansion into new markets or geography
  • Change in direction
  • Merger, acquisition, or spin off
  • Legal or reputation damage
  • Overwhelming success of a sub-brand.

These and others tend to create big disconnects or confusion with your brand name, positioning statement or logo. When your branding creates confusion, it’s time to consider a rebrand.

A brand refresh on the other hand is an alternative when there is inconsistent use of the logo, mixed (or multiple) messaging, or simply an outdated look and feel.

The difference between the two from a creative agency perspective equates to different levels of expertise, higher quantity of head hours and client collaboration.

A complete rebrand requires significantly more strategic resources and processes to define the brand platform, some of which are:

  • Market and Customer Research and Analysis
  • Brand Workshops
  • Purpose, Values and Promise Realignment
  • Brand Strategy and Direction
  • Key Messaging and Strapline

That’s all before starting on the design concepts!

From the rebranded client perspective it is also very resource intensive. It requires significant involvement and energy in the early stages to define and develop the new brand.

Then once it has been completed, more time is required for the indoctrination and cultural buy in of the brand values, promises and purpose. The latter is often underestimated and undervalued. Your people need to become raving fans in order to create raving fans in your customers.

A brand refresh often requires much less time to complete, as typically there is strong brand name and platform to be built on, and a visual makeover is all that’s required.

In refreshing a brand we look for the key attributes that contain the brand story. We evolve the brand while keeping that element recognizable to maintain the brand story. It could be particular colours, shapes or symbols, a graphical element, or a type style.

It can be a simple as reworking the brand’s logo to make it more relevant to your market, more versatile and communicate the story clearer.

In a refresh, ensuring the brand is easily recognizable as the same business is the key. It’s an evolution not a revolution.

With a refresh it is wise to explore your strap line and lock up at the same time, and to create a comprehensive style guide to safely govern its application across all your brand collateral, digital assets and marketing material. After all the effort invested, you don’t want to leave any cracks.

Many companies update their brand to respond to market perceptions as their business evolves, the market changes, or technology changes.

The key is to stay fresh and relevant for your market so as to not lose any sales due to misconceptions. Some brand identities can go stale (especially those that were designed to meet a trend) and often it cannot be seen by the business owner as they are too attached and biased.

As with the clear differences between the two options, so is there a difference in the investment required. The considered business person equally weighs up the opposing question. What are the true (but often hidden) costs of a misaligned brand? i.e. Actual cost of lost sales, cost of fruitless marketing, cost of lost growth opportunities, cost of lost partnerships, cost of lost staff and HR, and cost of low morale and productivity.

How is your brand being perceived by the market? When was the last time you checked?

While this article is very black and white, there is grey area, so I invite you to speak with me about your brand for strategy that fits your situation.

Which do you think is right for you? Let me know in the comments.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

Humbling Words From Awesome People

  • The Sponge’s perceptive sensibility guarantees a perfect match between your business and its presentation to the world. They makes your values, ethics, goals, and the 'feel' of your business shine through every aspect of your brand.

    Geoff Walker Sydney Massage Time Pty Ltd
  • I recommend The Sponge’s services to new and established organizations who are looking to differentiate themselves from the “ordinary” and stand out from the crowd.

    Annette Wright InfoGenesis Pty Limited
  • One of Luke’s talents is his ability to move people and organizations from the creative to the innovative, commercializing ideas and inventions.

    Rodney Marks Hoax Speaker
  • I have had The Sponge involved in several IT based projects over my years working as a Software Developer. Each project has seen results that have exceeded expectations and I highly recommend them.

    Shane Wisniewski Wesfarmers Industrial and Safety
  • I usually don’t believe in one stop shops, because of the inability to be great across many areas, but The Sponge truly are the one stop shop for brand creation, innovation and lead generation.

    Mark Capelin Tribe Social Fitness
  • Luke and the crew at the Sponge helped set up our Corporate image as it stands today. They were extremely helpful and patient. They took the time to understand our business and brainstormed with us some of the essential elements and came up with various images until we were happy with the final one. Can't recommend Luke and his team enough. Thanks again Luke.

    Kim Lie Jom Complete Health Chiropractic
  • The Sponge team are great to work with. They translate your ideas and vision into something real and tangible and they truly want to make an impact to your business strategy with their valuable insights. We have been using them for over 10 years and would highly recommend their expertise.

    M Levonian William, Thyme & Prophet / Report Factory
  • A great vibe and energy brought to every project that The Sponge have led for me. Easy to work with, quick on the uptake of direction and prompt service. Will definitely be using The Sponge again and highly recommend.

    Lucette King NSW Department of Education
  • High level strategic thinking and their creativity makes them stand out. Quick turn around time and reasonable price make them the winner every single time.

    Syed Mujtuba Crescent Wealth
  • Awesome company with awesome creativity. After working with them over 2 years, The Sponge has successfully turned me from a happy customer into a raving fan!

    Jeremy Chen Claytan Australia
  • Great creative proactive company. Could not be happier with the works they both provided and suggested. Now our go to company for branding.

    Ross Thompson JHA Engineers
  • Awesome design. Easy to work with. Jobs are completed quickly. Highly recommended.

    Alexander Bont BONT
  • Luke and the team at the Sponge are truly artisans of their craft. They're AWARE, they DARE and DELIVER.

    Claude Di Ciano Richardson & Wrench Willoughby
  • Love their vision, love their work and mostly love the team!

    C. S. Chen Claytan Australia
  • The Sponge truly immersed themselves into our business, our team and our culture to develop a brand that not only captured our essence but more importantly; expressed it to the world.

    Mende Seljanovski Enth° Projects
  • The Sponge have been outstanding to work with. Their expertise, dedication and outstanding quality of work is second to none. I am grateful for their input into the design of our brand and website.

    Matt Malouf The Fortune Institute
  • Our brand looks better than we could have dreamed and The Sponge team managed to squeeze so much meaning into it that our prospects really get a sense of how we can help them.

    Darren Vardy Insolvency Options

We Love Helping Good People Grow Their Brands

We’re ready to help make your brand something to rave about.

Working with us is super easy.

Step 1:

Step 1:

Book a free consultation

Step 2:

Step 2:

Allow us to craft a plan for you

Step 3:

Step 3:

We’ll implement it together