Not all rebrands are necessary, indeed there are moments in the life of a brand when a refresh is eminently more sensible than a wholesale, roots and all rebrand.


Rebrands are more radical and carry a greater degree of risk. They put hard won brand equity on the line and can, if executed poorly or done at the wrong time, confuse the audience. At worst, a rebrand can alienate previously loyal customers, making them feel as if their attachment to the brand wasn’t taken into consideration.


Rebranding potentially involves an overhaul of all of the elements that make up a brand. It often means that the organisation feels it necessary to take a hard look at the message, culture and goals that are its raison d’être.


In isolation, a slightly rejigged logo or colour scheme isn’t a rebrand. Smaller changes like these fall under the category of a brand refresh, a much lower risk activity for a brand, one that tends to maintain far stronger connections to how the brand was perceived before.


Refreshing a brand is best thought of as a renovation. You might tear out old parts that were old and no longer worked, but essentially, the core structure remains recognisably the same. A brand refresh becomes appropriate when the branding in place is strong and generally seen as a positive – such that any upgrades that have been identified as being necessary should be made without losing the recognised branding.


A visual refresh should, as a rule of thumb, seek to retain the core position and values of a brand, while evolving to requirements. Expressions of a visual refresh might include:


Revising style guides.
Updating the colour scheme of a brand.
Reworking marketing collateral and identity pieces.
Reworking the logo.
Updating the font library.


Every brand is in a unique position, so for specific advice on whether a rebrand or refresh would make more sense for your brand, get in touch to speak to our permanently refreshed rebranding experts.


By Oliver Brown