Over the course of a brands existence there will always be a time where it comes to needing a refresh or a rebrand, purely for relevance. So, how do you know which one? We’re breaking down the difference between both and providing a little clarity.
What is a Refresh?
In short? A fixer upper. It’s when you know that you need to tweak things in order to bring them up to date.
- The logo is tweaked to reflect a more modern look
- The colours are updated. For example: some additional secondary colours might be added to the branded palette to support new messaging
- The words are tweaked to reflect a different tone
- There’s a change in channel messaging (think communication on social platforms)
- Designs are updated, for example. The website or product packaging
Most of the time a brand refresh is what people confuse with a ‘rebrand’. Though it’s purely more for aesthetics and messaging tweaks.
A good example of a brand refresh is Coca Cola (click here to see the evolution of their logo). Every few years they slightly change and adapt their logo to remain relevant and timeless. They change it so discreetly that you don’t even know and that is a perfect example of a great refresh. Over the years they have also included additional branded assets like the inclusion of their signature bottle into their collateral. Did you also know that Coke played a huge role in branding Santa Clause red? No BS – read this.
When a refresh may be needed?
- Difference – Note: don’t always stick to trends – read our article ‘3 reasons why you shouldn’t stay on trend‘ that we wrote for Business Chicks
What is a rebrand?
A rebrand is a complete overhaul. It’s when the brand needs to transform, it could be a change in direction whether like their market positioning or it could be a marketing strategy. It generally involves things like a new visual identity; logo, assets, colours, typography, imagery; the complete shebang. Messages change, different audiences are targeted, every facet of the old brand erased and replaced.
When a rebrand may be needed?
- New ownership
- New strategic direction
- New target market
- New product/service offering
A good example is the Optus rebrand, where they completely transformed their brand to appeal to a younger demographic. They also included ambassadors that appealed to their market; Ricky Gervais anyone? (Click here to see the case study). It was executed perfectly and remains one of our favourite rebrands.
As you can see the difference between the two depends on the extent of the brand shift. If the change is heavily strategic and the current strategies won’t serve the purpose of the new direction, it can hinder the brand message. Therefore, a rebrand is needed in order to convey the new story. On the flipside, if the brand strategy and direction is still relevant, it may be a brand refresh that’s needed in order to bring things inline.
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