Brand Refresh vs. Rebrand: What’s the Difference?
Regardless of whether you’re a company, organization, or individual, your brand is a huge part of who you are. Your brand isn’t just your logo, name, culture, or marketing efforts. It’s the culmination of various looks, feels, and standards that work together to create a whole brand entity. Each piece is as crucial as the next, and you can’t have one without the support of the others or your brand will fall flat.
Here are some of the key branding elements to consider:
- Your logo design
- Visual identity (color, fonts, graphic styles, photography)
- Communication identity (voice, tone, message)
- Brand strategy (core purpose, positioning, target audiences, big picture idea)
We recommend having a company brand style guide available to house everything that would make up your brand identity in one centralized location. This will make it easier to reference and update for brand continuity.
Keeping your brand up to date sets a strong core for your company. But how do you decide if your business needs a “rebrand” vs a “brand refresh?” And what’s the difference?
A refresh is when you audit your current brand assets and evaluate how they match the current brand strategy and initiatives your company or organization has in place. If it needs to be updated, it’s a brand refresh. Sometimes it’s as simple as refreshing the visual and written identity of your company, while other times it’s narrowing the focus of your brand to a smaller set of initiatives. In either instance, the brand remains intact, with some adjustments. You’re not losing any brand equity that existed before, instead, you are leveraging that equity to boost yourself into a new, more clear, and updated direction.
A rebrand is a total stop and change of direction. It’s essentially a complete reworking of your brand. Beyond just creating the new visual and written identity of the brand, an entirely new ethos is being created. Checkout sucessful rebranding done by some brands. This is a much deeper dive into brand strategy, examining who you want to be and what you want to portray, with the end goal of establishing an entirely different brand. Everything from your name and aesthetics to your brand strategy will be completely different. That being said, it’s important to note that with a rebrand, you’re going to lose brand equity. If that’s ok with you, and you need to take your branding in a different direction, a rebrand is what you’ll want.
To break it down even further…
When to refresh
You will want to just refresh your brand when your aesthetics are dated, you’re refining your service offerings, entering a new market, you’re narrowing the focus of the brand strategy, or your branding efforts have become inconsistent over time. It’s typical that a company might go through a brand refresh every few years to keep up with the trends.
When to rebrand
You will want to rebrand when you’ve developed a bad reputation, you’ve lost relevance, you’ve consolidated brands or split into multiples, or the core of your business has changed.
Pyxl’s take on branding
Here at Pyxl, we evaluate our brand every few years to make sure it’s still in line with our vision and up to date with the current trends. In July 2017 and again in September 2020 we decided to do a refresh for Pyxl. It made the most sense, as we’ve already developed equity in our name, design elements, and brand strategy. We wanted to realign our strategy to our core offerings since we’d lost touch as we’ve grown over the years. Our efforts, both written and visual, had become inconsistent, so it was a good time to reevaluate everything and put it down on paper to ensure we were all on the same page. Plus, we wanted our brand to capture our personality and help us fit into the digital realm with a little more relevance.
So that’s what we did! We updated the visual language (think fonts, colors, illustrations, etc.) across the board for Pyxl, from our website – what do you think? – to various outbound collateral. We also took a clearer approach to illustrations and integrated them into our branding in a unified way.
If you need help with a brand refresh or a total rebrand, we would love to lend a hand. It can be tough to navigate and not disengage or confuse your target audience when going through a rebrand or refresh–let us help! Contact us today!
Updated: Apr 13, 2022