It’s 2021, and you may be getting tired of your branding. It’s OK – it happens to all of us. But do you toss everything you’ve built so far and start from scratch? Perhaps… or maybe instead of a rebrand, you just need a brand reFRESH. In this blog, we’ll dive into what these are and how to choose which one is right for you.

Deciding to rebrand is a big decision! You’ve invested time, energy and effort into building your current brand, and there’s a reason it looks the way it does. However, companies shift, core focus can change, or maybe you didn’t put in as much branding strategy and research at the beginning as you could have. So what to do?

Before tossing all your branding to the wind, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I absolutely have to change my name or logo? (like, is there a legal reason that you are being forced to do so?)
  2. Am I changing my business offering, core focus, or adding a product line that should have it’s OWN brand under my umbrella brand/company?
  3. Is there anything about this current branding that I could keep?

So if you DON’T need to change your business name, and you are not changing your core business, then you are likely going to be happier with a brand refresh.

So what is a brand refresh?

It’s more just an updating of some of your supporting brand elements. You might even update colors or a font on your logo, but any logo mark or symbol should stay the same.

During a brand refresh, you might do the following:

  1. Update your colors (are there colors that can just shift in shade, but still carry the same psychological meaning?
    Update your supporting fonts. These are fonts you use on your website, in print materials like your business card, or on social media graphics.
  2. Add new brand textures, icons, illustration style, or other graphic elements. These shouldn’t change ALL the time, but if you are refreshing, look at these elements too. Try to stay true to your brand, not just using whatever style is trendy (that is true for all of these graphic elements when it comes to your brand).
  3. Update your photography. Your photo style should match your branding. This is also a good time to look at all the photos you are using on social and on your website and refresh them. Use your updated color palette and find objects to use as props in those colors. Another idea is to use neutral-colored props and wardrobe and allow graphics and fonts to be the pop of color.
  4. Update your tagline. This one is controversial because a tagline is part of core branding and should ONLY be updated when necessary. I’ve seen companies like Humm Kombucha successfully update their tagline twice in the last 10 years, but it was done well! So ask yourself, is your core company attitude or message shifting? Maybe you’ve honed your messaging after you’ve been in business for a while? Then a tagline change can really help you feel like your brand is staying current without getting rid of the logo you’ve spent time building up brand equity with.
  5. Finally, you could update your logo font, as long as the symbol of your brand isn’t changing. For example, Nike has used different fonts for their logo over the years, but always uses the swoosh as a symbol.

Rebrand or refresh, keep it about your audience

If you really need to rebrand, then keep in mind that a rebrand starts with strategy – look at your core audience, what they like, what they want, and then figure out how your offering will speak to that.

Remember to look at your competitors! You may be tired of your branding, but it might be really unique and effective compared to what else is in the market. You want to stand out, be different, and appeal to your audience.

I know it’s hard, but your branding isn’t really about what you like – at least that’s not the main thing. It’s about your audience and what they like. It’s worth it to spend the time and money on the brand strategy and research before diving into design.