In the marketing world, businesses and brands are constantly evolving and changing — they must in order to keep up with all the new trends and styles that are always emerging. With all the “keeping up”, how do we know if our favorite or simply recognizable brands are completely rebranding or just touching up their look?
The two concepts can often appear very similar to the consumer eye, but each serve different purposes and are driven by different goals. Many companies strive for loyalty and consistency within their business-customer relationships and struggle with the decision to enact a rebrand or refresh in order to not upset that relationship. While the goal of neither is aiming to disrupt that relationship, not being aware of what your brand needs and how your company chooses to satisfy that, can affect how your consumer retains brand changes.
Let’s break it down to what the real differences are between refreshing your brand and a complete rebrand.
Rebrand. The initial idea to begin a rebrand usually comes from a lack of recognition and loyalty within your market. If there are trends of a decreasing or fluctuating consumer base, it could be time to re-evaluate how you are communicating with them or if that consumer market is right for the longevity of your company at all. This could mean something as simple as the direction your brand chose to go in was not the best at accurately reflecting your products, services, or company identity, or on a broader note, your branding was not directed at the right consumer/market entirely. Some things that make up a rebrand are:
- Re-creating your company personality
- Finding where your product/service fits in terms of a new market and then establishing
yourself there in a competitive way
- Complete redesign of your company elements such as packaging, background, advertising,
Brand-refresh. Refreshing your brand can happen more than once and usually the better, longer-lasting brands do. The tactical move to begin refreshing your brand can vary in how extreme the updates are depending on the new needs and/or goals of your business. For example, if the goal is to be more sustainable, then updates to your packaging materials or fabric if a clothing brand. Sometimes the goal is simply to give your company face a little zhuzh — adjusting the color palette, fonts, verbiage used and subtle aspects like these are a good start to a refreshed look. In general, a refresh will include:
- Updating visual branding
- Re-thinking customer service strategy
- Giving a new voice to your advertising and marketing
- Overall new design or look to products
When beginning the process of a rebrand or brand-refresh, make sure you have done a good overall analysis of the wants and needs of your company and its current branding. You don't want to completely change the direction of your brand if you could have put your time and money into smaller, more effective changes. At the end of the day, the goal is to connect with your consumer and have a strong foundation in your market.
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