Brand Refresh or Full Rebrand? The Questions You Need to Ask to Decide

Anything new can bring an exhilarating amount of excitement and energy to the forefront. It’s just like getting a haircut, redecorating your space, or finding a new running path–a change from the norm can be just what your business needs to add a boost into its aesthetic and operations. 

But how do you know if you need a simple refresh or if you need a full rebrand? Here are the questions you need to ask to decide.

Brand Refresh vs Full Rebrand
What’s the Difference?

Oftentimes the words “refresh” and “rebrand” are used synonymously. It’s true they are similar, however they have differences that are important to note when talking to your design team and considering which direction to go down.

A brand refresh is keeping the bones of what your brand is based on. A refresh is simply that—refreshing your brand elements to reflect the evolution your company has made. The purpose of the brand refresh is to keep the heart of what your customer’s know and love, but bring new life into its visuals/design, messaging, etc.

On the flipside, is a full rebrand which is a larger endeavor than a light refresh. Think of spring cleaning and redecorating as a refresh. A rebrand would be a major renovation or even moving houses completely. Companies and organizations who opt to rebrand themselves do so for three reasons: 1. Their core values, audience, and/or services have changed; 2. Their brand has been shown in a negative light or is not politically correct for the current audience; or 3. The current branding is confusing, misleading, or contradictory. 

How to Decide Which Direction Is Best
Questions You Need to Ask Yourself

Now that you know which is which, here are some questions to ask yourself that will help you decide which direction is best for your organization.

1. Are you getting the attention you feel your business deserves?

Your customers may love your products and services, and you may be doing fine financially–but if you feel like it could be more, maybe it’s simply your brand! A refresh could be the ticket to that “viral” boost from your audience that you’ve been waiting for.

2. Does your current brand reflect your company’s vision?

Just like ourselves as individuals, companies grow, adapt, and sometimes pivot direction over time. When you think about the core of your brand–the vision and values of your organization–do they align with the rest of your brand elements? Sometimes brand elements that were created initially no longer fit the next chapter in your business, or maybe it no longer culturally resonates in your market/region. If you’re nodding your head yes to these, it’s time for a rebrand!

3. When you look at all of your marketing assets, is your brand connected?

It’s easy to create things on the fly when you’re a busy small business owner. When you take the time to look at all the assets that have been created to share your business–is the messaging consistent? Is the aesthetic consistent? If the answer is no, or you feel like there is a disconnect between your website and your business cards, your ads and your social media–it’s time for a refresh!

4. Have you moved or expanded your business outside your initial audience?

Sometimes our businesses move with us as we geographically change our settings. In this case, it’s important to recognize the differences between your last community and your current community. Do the models work? Does your messaging resonate with what they are needing? Another frequent occurrence is expanding your business either to additional brick and mortar locations, or entering an online market. In this case–are you standing out from the competition? If the answer is no, or even “I don’t know,” talk to your branding professional(s) about a possible rebrand to fit the current and future vision for your business in your new setting.

5. Are you standing out from the competition and staying on current trends?

When we say trends here, don’t think of the latest dance on TikTok. We’re talking about lasting trends that keep your brand looking current and not “behind the times.” There is a fine line between using the same colors, patterns, words, and going after the same audience as everyone else. Talking to your branding professional(s) will help you with a brand refresh that will keep you ahead of the competition and staying current for your audience.

By now, you have an idea of what direction you need to go with updating your brand either through a brand refresh or a full rebranding.

So what’s next? Reach out to us and we can help get you started with a free branding consultation to align your business goals with your brand’s visual and written representation.

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