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When to Rebrand vs When to Refresh 

The Difference between Rebranding and Refreshing your company:


Experienced business owners and entrepreneurs know that brand identity (everything visual about your company) is essential when starting a new business. They also know that a business can build a strong brand and brand identity only if it makes deliberate choices and doesn’t leave branding to chance. Business owners with less experience under-invest in branding. Some business owners and entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that their business’ brand identity is nothing more than the business name and logo. But, a successful brand is much more than the name and logo.


Branding is likely the last thing on your mind when starting your new business. Or maybe after an acquisition, you were taking over a brand. Even if you made brand identity a priority, in the beginning, a change of business plans may have made your initial brand strategy obsolete. And unless you make good branding choices when you start your business and create your brand strategy, you’ll often find that your brand identity is undermining your efforts to grow your business.


Whether your branding ideas began with a sketch or a whiteboard brainstorm through the branding process, somewhere along the way things just stopped working. A great example of this situation is a couple of rebrands we did for Laughing Dog Brewing in Sandpoint, Idaho, and Frontier Door and Cabinet in Tacoma, Washington. However, you got to this point you’re not happy. Fortunately, rebranding is common! Large brands like Dunkin Donuts, Uber, Lowes, and more have undergone rebrands. A brand exists only in the minds of consumers. The most important thing to remember is that a brand is not what a company does or what it looks like – it is what people believe the company does and how they feel about it. Brands are not for you, they are for your customers.


Knowing the difference between rebranding and refreshing your company is important because they are not the same. Though they both have to do with altering your brand in some way, a brand refresh is much less significant than a total rebrand.


What is Rebranding?


A rebrand is a total makeover, not just a quick touch-up. Rebranding means rethinking your entire strategy and possibly making changes to the logo, name, or design. With a transformation like this, you aim to reshape your identity in the minds of stakeholders and consumers. 



When should I Rebrand?


A rebrand may be necessary if your message, website, campaign, or logo no longer matches your company’s vibe, aesthetic, or values. If you’ve had the same website and logo since you started your company back in the 90s, it may be time for a rebrand. If there is a repositioning in the market, your business may need to follow accordingly with a new philosophy. Another time to rebrand is when two companies or brands merge together. You may want to highlight the fact that your brand has shifted to include another company. 


At times the same logo/branding can become redundant or boring to consumers, at which point you’ll want to consider rebranding. If your overall goal is to generate higher leads and sales you should not jump to rebranding because it can actually hurt your business rather than help it. 


Rebranding example:





What is a brand Refresh?


A brand refresh is an adjustment that’s focused on the vision portion of your brand identity, in order to cater to a different audience/market. Brand refreshing is just a quick touch-up rather than an entire makeover. A refresh, or partial rebranding, can still be very effective. Apple, for example, has changed their logo several times over the last 30 years but for most of that time, it has remained the same overall shape. 


Brand Refresh example:






When do I need a brand Refresh?


You should consider a refresh for your brand when your business is already well established, but just needs a few updates to its look and feel. You may have added a service or product and need a refresh that will help to highlight that. 





Overall, both rebranding and refreshing your company will result in a change to either your visual or strategic marketing presence. Kinetek media specializes in helping companies with their rebranding and refreshing processes. We have a talented staff of creative graphic designers and marketing professionals who are well-versed in branding, rebranding and helping you to achieve your business goals. Learn more about what we do here.