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Is Your Business Ready for a Rebrand? The Difference Between a Rebrand vs. Refresh

May 30, 2024

In today’s relentless market, relevance isn’t just important—it’s everything. As a branding designer, I’m finding more and more small businesses asking: is my business ready for a rebrand? Or do you simply need a little refresh? In this article, I’m going to help you spot the clear signs that it’s time to breathe new life into your brand OR decide that you’re ready to tear it down and start rebuilding it from the studs with a complete rebrand. If you’re wondering the difference between a rebrand vs. refresh (and are wondering what you really need right now!), I’m going to layout what you need to know to decide. Let’s get started!

And by the way, whether you’re leaning towards a complete rebrand or a refresh, I’m here to help. Reach out to me, and we can get started right away!

brand and website designer ellie brown discusses the difference between a rebrand or a refresh

First, What is Rebranding and When is it Important?

Rebranding isn’t just about swapping out your logo or jazzing up your website. It’s a deep dive into the heart of your brand, reshaping how the world sees you by redefining your core values, mission, and your place in the market. While rebranding often involves a new logo, submark logos, fonts, colors, patterns, and other visual assets, the truth is that rebranding is far from superficial! I usually recommend a rebrand if your business is struggling to reach the right audience, or you’re making a major shift to what you’re bringing to the marketplace.

Understanding the Differences Between a Rebrand and a Refresh

While a rebrand often involves a complete transformation, more established companies might benefit from more of a brand refresh. This involves more subtle, yet impactful tweaks. Using my “rip it down to the studs” analogy from earlier, a brand refresh involves less “tearing down the walls” and more “fresh coat of paint and maybe some new furniture”.

To give you a more “brand-centered” example, this could involve updating your logo to a more contemporary style, tweaking your website for an improved user experience, or sharpening your color palette to reflect your audience’s current preferences. The choices are endless!

If you’re not ready to completely redo your brand identity but crave something more modern, a refresh can be an excellent way to inject some new energy into your brand without altering the core of what makes you special! After all, if you have brand recognition in your market already, it might hurt you more than help you!

Considering a refresh? My VIP days could be the ideal solution to spruce up your brand’s look and feel swiftly and effectively!

Identifying the Signs That a Business Needs to Be Rebranded

Wondering if it’s time for a rebrand? How do you know if you need more than a little refresh? Here are some tell-tale signs:

  • Your brand is struggling to stand out in your market
  • You aren’t attracting the types of client’s you want to work with
  • You DIY-ed your original brand (hello bootstrapping!) and there wasn’t a ton of strategy behind your original design
  • Your website is looking completely outdated and is hard for you to edit
  • Your service offerings have evolved since you originally opened your doors. Plus, you have a lot more data to work with now too!
  • You want to raise your prices. And you want your brand’s look and feel to match!
a notebook flatlay with "embrace your ambition" on the front and a pen on top of it

The Process of Rebranding a Business

While rebranding can seem overwhelming, managing it step-by-step can make the process a breeze. Here’s how I break it down with my branding clients:

  1. Research: I start with a deep dive into your market, analyzing your competitors and your current brand’s perception.
  2. Define Your Identity: Together, we clarify what your brand represents—its values, mission, and overall personality.
  3. Design Your Brand Elements: This is where I shine! I craft every element, from logos to fonts and color schemes, so they all align with your new brand identity
  4. Strategic Application: Next, you will implement your new branding consistently across all touchpoints, including digital, print, and physical environments.
  5. Launch: We can either do this in a flashy launch way or a subtle rollout if that makes more sense to your brand!

How to Measure the Success of Your Rebranding Efforts

Finally, once you’ve completed your rebrand (or refresh!), you’re ready to measure the impact of your rebranding efforts to see just how much punch your new brand is packing. Start by tracking brand awareness—look for changes in how well your brand is recognized and remembered. Keep a close eye on customer engagement too, monitoring how audiences interact with your brand across social media and other platforms.

Don’t forget to check the sales metrics and of course, sift through customer feedback for valuable insights into how your brand is perceived post-makeover. Understanding these metrics will tell you not just if your rebrand was flashy, but if it was truly effective.

ellie brown talks about the difference between a rebrand or a refresh

Understanding The Difference Between a Rebrand vs. Refresh

Here at Ellie Brown Branding, I’m all for empowering you to make the right decision for YOUR unique business. Whether you go for a fresh coat of paint or a complete renovation (I can’t help myself at this point 😂), remember that your brand is more than just a logo or a color scheme. A brand should help you stand out in a crowded market, call in premium clients, and help contribute to your overall business goals and what you want to be known for.

And hey, if you find yourself a bit overwhelmed by branding (and comparing a rebrand vs. refresh), don’t worry—I’m here to guide you through it. Whether you need a VIP day mini brand session (perfect for a refresh or a new business on a quick timeline and limited budget!) or assistance with your branding or website project, I’m all set to dive in. Take a look at my portfolio, or feel free to contact me directly here.

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