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  • Judy Olsen

Is it time for a Rebrand or Refresh—what's the difference?

Wondering what the difference is between a brand refresh and a rebrand? Since I’m an avid diy'er, let's use a kitchen makeover to illustrate the differences.

Let’s say you like your kitchen layout and its functionality but things are looking a little dated and worn and it just doesn’t represent your vibe anymore. A new color scheme on the cabinets and walls, maybe some new countertops and appliances and, BAM, you have a refreshed look to your kitchen. The structure (equates to your brand values, mission, etc.) didn’t change but things have a fresh new look. That’s the same as a brand refresh.

On the other hand, let’s say your kitchen is cramped, has a terrible layout, the cabinets are broken—everything needs to go. You take it down to the studs and start fresh to create your dream kitchen. You change everything—take down walls, maybe add an addition, it’s a complete redo. That’s the same as a rebrand.

How do you know which one you need? We have a free quiz you can take here, but there are some key things that will indicate it’s time for a rebrand or a refresh.

If you never had brand guidelines then chances are you need a rebrand. For an identity to become memorable the elements need to come together to tell your story.

We know, a lot of people start their business out of their spare room and have a friend (or friend of a friend), or an online designer coop do their logo to save money. In these cases you probably didn't get guidelines on how to use your brand in a cohesive way.

If you keep experimenting with different fonts for headlines and support copy and don’t know what your brand colors are, that's an indication you need to do something.

Your brand doesn’t have a cohesive look and feel

Do you use your brand identity in different ways all the time? Are you using different colors, graphic elements and fonts on all your marketing materials?

You should be consistent so that your audience can recognize you on any marketing medium and connect to your brand. You do this by following brand guidelines and processes.

Your brand isn’t connecting with your target audience

Knowing your target audience from the start will ensure that your brand identity resonates with them. When doing a brand identity we always research the market to gain a good understanding of your target audience.

If your target audience has changed, or you didn’t do this when you started your business, now might be the time to do it.

Your brand is growing

First of all, Congratulations! Whether you are adding new products or services your brand is bound to evolve over time. What you don’t want is to have to constantly change your brand identity to accommodate the changes.

Your brand identity should be able to grow with your brand. If yours isn’t then you will need a makeover that allows for growth and scalability.

Your brand is getting lost in the crowd

Has competition in your market increased? Are you struggling to stand out and create differentiation?

If you are blending in then it might be time for a refresh or a rebrand to help you stand out.

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