You may be thinking to yourself, “I don’t need a brand refresh, I already have this great brand set up with a campaign and tagline that really attract my target consumers.” Great! This is the first step for brand awareness. However, this doesn’t mean you can “set it and forget it” with your brand marketing. More than ever, in this era of constant consumption, people are seeing hundreds of brands a day. Are you really standing out amongst competitors? Are consumers seeing the same ads over and over again?
Without a refresh, your brand will become stale and irrelevant. The media landscape is constantly changing and so should your look and messaging. Let’s take a deep dive into how to revamp your brand and keep it top of mind.
Brand Refresh 101
Rebranding, brand refresh—it all sounds the same, doesn’t it? The two can be very similar, so let’s work on outlining some of the differences.
A brand refresh is like a personal makeover. It consists of updating your image to your customers—having a distinct impact on the way that your company feels, sounds, and looks to them. This might mean changing your brand voice, visual branding, or even altering some of your products. Typically, the brand refresh process looks at your use of colors, typography, styles, photography, and tone of voice. You would be surprised how a bit of new imagery and messaging could transform a brand.
A rebrand is an overhaul of your entire image—establishing yourself within a different market or positioning yourself differently in the same market. You basically give your brand an entirely new personality, and this typically consists of changing your brand strategy, redesigning your logo, and applying new photography, colors, fonts, and messaging. Like David Schwimmer says in Friends, “PIVOT!” That’s what you’re doing with a rebrand; you’re pivoting.
Why would your brand benefit from a refresh?
As your business grows and evolves, it’s important that your brand does so as well. With a brand refresh, you’ll ensure that you are staying fresh, relevant, and current amongst your competition. It will also give your brand the opportunity to reshape its identity to a truer version of itself versus the one the market perceived you as a few years, even months ago. And, let’s face it, if you stayed the same while all the other companies in your industry were changing, you’ll end up losing your competitive edge. A brand refresh is one of the top survival skills you need.
This new look can help you better situate yourself in the marketplace, and create a foundation for your marketing: consistency! Consistency breeds brand recognition and loyalty. Now across all marketing channels and platforms, your brand will be seen and heard by your consumers in a cohesive way. Who wouldn’t want that first glance recognition, right?
Looking to attract new talent? A newly refined brand can help there as well. In today’s market, job seekers are much more interested in transparency and company culture. They want to see how they would make a good fit within your company, and vice versa. Your brand is their first impression of that, so work to make it a positive one. The more a candidate knows about your brand the more likely they will think of your organization as a good place to work.
Another benefit of a brand refresh you probably don’t hear about very often is SEO (search engine optimization). As you are revamping your website, you can audit your web pages for better performance and brand recognition. You can see what SEO value your site currently has, what is worth maintaining, what you need to improve upon, and where to work in your new brand keywords.
When is a good time for a brand refresh?
If the below resonates with you, you might need to consider a brand refresh in the near future.
Your brand is feeling outdated.
Your design isn’t as modern as you wished and you want to elevate your branding.
You’re not reaching your target audience.
The market has shifted since you first began your branding efforts, and now you need to improve your brand to fit new personas.
You’re experiencing slowed growth and need to expand to new customers.
The spark of a fresh design can be enough for customers (new and old) to take notice.
Your brand is inconsistent.
Your brand’s design and messaging are inconsistent across different platforms. From your online to offline, consistency is key for brand visibility and customer experience. Lack of consistency can confuse your audience.
You have a convoluted vision.
Did you “set it and forget it”? Because the landscape is always changing, you must review your strategies on a regular basis to keep up. Maybe you put out a few different campaigns and now consumers are a bit confused. Having a clear vision helps customers understand your brand.
You’re growing with new products or acquisitions.
As you grow, you’ll need to take a step back and assess how the ‘new’ will impact your brand positioning.
You’re noticing the market is changing and there is more competition.
Are there too many similar brands out there? Maybe you want to differentiate yourself more from the competition and create more of an edge. It’s important to create a unique face for your company so consumers can remember and resonate with your brand.
What are the risks of refresh versus a rebrand?
A brand refresh tends to be a lower-risk, lower-cost option than a rebrand. With a refresh, you are looking only at specific elements of the brand—fonts, colors, messaging, imagery—than the entire brand itself. Remember, it’s like a personal makeover versus creating an entirely new identity. You’ll save time with a refresh, as a refresh is a much shorter process than a rebrand.
What does the process for a brand refresh look like?
The process is pretty straightforward. With a refresh, everything remains surface level. Kind of like having a new coat of paint put on your house. It looks different, but the main elements are all still there. Below, you’ll see the steps you’ll need to follow for a refresh.
1. Research and discovery
Any type of branding development needs research to determine how your company is viewed in the current landscape, what key differentiators you have, and what areas you may need to change to stay relevant. You also need to look at what you want to gain from the brand refresh, what goals you want to meet, and audience demographics.
2. Creative Brief
The research and discovery compiled from step one is inputted into a creative brief. This document is used to outline the strategy of the project and includes its purpose, goals, requirements, competitive analysis, target audience, and other key information. The creative brief is ultimately the backbone of the project. And of course, the better the creative brief is, the better the outcome.
3. Visual Identity Update
You’ll need to look at how your image and brand positioning are being portrayed, and rework elements such as color palettes, photography, fonts, styles, and messaging to be fresher and more relevant. This is where the makeover really starts to take shape.
4. Messaging and Tone of Voice Update
Messaging is just as important as visual changes to your brand. Consumers care more than ever before about the story behind the brand and your personality and values.
5. Roll Out
The last step of the brand refresh is the most important—the roll out. You’ll want to generate excitement and build momentum with the launch of the new strategies and campaign. Communication in this step is crucial, as you may need to coordinate with other internal teams and external agencies or companies.
Convinced you need a brand refresh? A simple brand refresh strategy requires less risk and money than a complete rebrand. Making subtle changes to your positioning and brand with a refresh can help you:
- Maintain your brand’s integrity. Let’s keep and improve the trust you’ve already built with your customers.
- Bring some new energy and life to your brand. Who doesn’t get excited about something new?
- Stay relevant and fresh. You must speak the new lingo to stay in the game.
- Grow your reach to new consumers. This is the most important!
Want to learn more?
Check out some of our brand refresh work and other resources below, or contact us to start chatting about a brand refresh.