Maximize Your Business With A New Brand Refresh
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Getting a brand refresh is not merely a trendy move for your business, it’s an essential branding strategy that moves your brand forward in a dynamic marketplace. As your business evolves, so do your audiences, offers, and the overall market you operate in.
Because of the ever-changing market, it’s crucial to periodically assess whether your brand still resonates with your intended audience AND aligns with your company’s current objectives, vision, and values.
While this blog post focuses more on, ‘brand refresh’, we give clarity on what a ‘rebrand’ REALLY IS.
We explain them both in deeper detail below. So, keep reading to get clarity, and we’ll cover the ➔ STEP-BY-STEP approach we take to refresh brands.
The Differences Between A Brand Refresh, A Brand Identity Redesign, And A Rebrand
If you have also wondered, ‘What is brand refresh vs redesign?’, a redesign is not the same as a refresh.
A brand refresh is the process of updating the elements of a brand to keep it relevant, current, and engaging in an ever-changing market environment. It’s based on a brand strategy process to determine what elements ‘REMAIN’ and what gets ‘UPDATED’. Each business should have the same strategic process, but the decisions on the degree of a refresh vary based on research, data, and risk management with stakeholders.
Brand Identity Redesign
Business owners that want to only update their visual identity receive brand identity redesigns, which involve significant changes to the overall design of a brand’s visual image.
A brand identity redesign can include:
- New logo
- New color palette
- New fonts and typefaces
- New imagery and graphics
It’s visually all new. And sometimes, the tone of voice and tagline are included.
However, the key differentiation between a brand refresh and a brand identity redesign is that a refresh includes reviewing ALL THE PARTS that are in the foundational brand strategy.
NOTE: If you want to refresh your brand, what you’re really asking for is to review all the parts that make up your brand BEFORE the design part even starts. Otherwise, if you just want your identity to be updated, you’re most likely wanting a brand identity redesign. That does NOT include deep-level research strategies.
The objective of a brand refresh
- Ensures that your brand maintains its ‘current’ image (your reputation and perceived ‘image’ your audience has in mind.) A refresh enhances that image.
- Cares about resonating well with your target audience. Does the refresh create better engagement?
- Continues to be a strong representative of your company’s evolving goals and market position. You’d already have in place your mission statement, vision, and positioning statement. A refresh reviews these and establishes whether it’s to be updated or not.
Your brand should reflect not only where your company is presently, but also where it aspires to be in the future.
A well-executed brand refresh can boost your company’s image, improve its perceived value, and re-energize its customer base.
A rebrand is a ‘complete overhaul’ of the full brand strategy and its identity. This is often done when a company needs to distance itself from a negative or dying image, establish a new brand direction, target a new audience, change the name, change its products and/or services, or differentiate itself in a disruptive way in a crowded market. It’s a more significant process that extends beyond the refresh process, because it REQUIRES careful planning, execution, and various roll-out strategies depending on the nature of the rebrand.
So, think of a brand refresh more like a home renovation. A renovation or remodel is about updating certain elements making the house more modern and appealing, without altering its foundational structure. A rebrand however, is a complete overhaul, much like tearing down that house and building a new one in its place.
The rebranding process often starts with a brand refresh because, before making radical changes, you would first assess your brand’s assets and update accordingly. This process not only reinvigorates and modernizes your brand, but it can also offer you valuable insights and clarify whether a full-scale rebrand is indeed necessary.
A brand refresh keeps your brand relevant, in-tune with current trends, maintaining a connection with your audience, AND stays true to your brand’s core essence.
A Brand Refresh Example
This brand refresh shows you that there is a strategy that Pepsi is going after; which is to acquire more of the market share. They needed to find a way to show that their company is changing tactics to take advantage of what customers care about; which is less sugar in their sodas. They also needed to give a facelift to the brand as it was stagnant and wasn’t relevant anymore.
The way to know that Pepsico wasn’t as relevant was the lack of growth. Colors, fonts, and visuals matter to the public. Pepsi is putting the Zero Sugar can as the primary can for their campaigns to come.
They made changes to their logo. They realized that most people recalled the logo with the Pepsi name inside the circle, so they decided to make that change. They made their blue a darker and bolder blue. They will use gradients and metallic graphics to help with a bolder and slicker look. Boosting their look and feel on social media.
Alex Harmozi says this; if your business isn’t growing, then it’s dying and we agree 100%.
Pepsi was not gaining a bigger market share, so they knew that they had to employ someone with the expertise to do branding.
A Rebrand Example
In 2019, two of the largest regional banks in the Southern United States, BB&T and SunTrust, announced a merger that resulted in the creation of Truist, the sixth-largest bank in the country. As part of the merger, a complete rebranding process took place.
The new name, Truist, was chosen to represent the bringing together of two legacy brands with shared values to create a new entity that signaled trust and authenticity to its customers. The name also highlights the mission of the new entity: to inspire and build better lives and communities.
The new logo, unveiled in 2020, features two T’s that mirror each other, representing the coming together of equals. The two T’s also form a colon in the negative space, signifying the continuous nature of change, innovation, and anticipation of what’s to come.
The Truist color palette introduces “Truist Purple,” a unique blend of BB&T’s burgundy and SunTrust’s blue, signifying the combination of the two legacy brands.
In addition to visual changes, the rebrand involved a fresh commitment to a client-focused strategy that promotes a differentiated and personalized client experience. This integrated the best of both BB&T and SunTrust’s capabilities in technology and digital innovation, aiming to set new standards in financial services.
This massive rebranding effort served to unite two historic banks under a single new identity, marking the start of a new era in their evolution while also emphasizing their commitment to building better futures for their clients and communities.
Brand Identity (Logo) Redesign
Mastercard underwent a significant logo redesign in 2016, and later in 2019, further streamlined its logo to reflect its evolution from a traditional credit card company to a modern digital payment solutions provider.
The company simplified its logo while retaining elements familiar to consumers worldwide. The two interlocking red and yellow circles remained, representing Mastercard’s global reach and its ability to connect people everywhere. However, the design was modernized, and the brand name was moved beneath the circles, written in lowercase letters. This design change was aimed at making the logo more adaptable and versatile for digital contexts.
In 2019, Mastercard took the bold step of removing the company name from its logo entirely. This left just the iconic red and yellow interlocking circles. The decision to drop the name from the logo was based on Mastercard’s research indicating that 80% of people recognized the logo without the need for the word “Mastercard” to be present.
Both the 2016 redesign and the 2019 streamlining were part of Mastercard’s broader strategy to evolve and redefine itself as a tech company in the payments industry. It reflected the company’s transition into the digital age and its desire to be at the forefront of seamless, digital payment solutions. The redesigned logo is clean, modern, and highly adaptable across various applications, particularly in digital and mobile settings.
Why a brand refresh maximizes your business
Do you know the EQUITY VALUE of your brand?
Here’s where a refresh can make a difference in your business.
Your brand carries value in the eyes of your audience. It builds an EQUITY based on their experiences and perceptions with your brand. Think about it. Statistics show…
Did you know?
It takes 5-7 impressions of your brand to then be ‘recalled’ in the mind of your audience to then be clicked on to consider. WOW!
Why? Market-saturation. The sea of businesses is endless.
The amount of competitors in that sea is cut-throat—just to get ahead and stand out.
It’s a critical factor to consider when contemplating a brand refresh for your business.
David Aaker, a recognized authority in the field of marketing, specifically in brand strategy, proposed a widely-used model for understanding and managing brand equity, known as Aaker’s Brand Equity Model. It covers these 5 areas:
- Brand Loyalty
- Brand Awareness
- Perceived Quality
- Brand Associations
- Other Proprietary Brand Assets
Each of these components contributes to a brand’s overall equity, which represents its value in the marketplace. Understanding and managing these factors is crucial for maximizing brand equity. Aaker’s model provides a framework for doing this, and can be especially helpful when considering a branding refresh, as it allows you to assess the potential impact on different aspects of your brand equity.
For instance, if your brand has high equity, meaning it’s well-known and has a strong reputation, you’ll need to be careful during a refresh. Major changes could alienate loyal customers or disrupt the recognition you’ve built up over time. That said, a brand refresh might require subtle, carefully considered updates to modernize the brand without drastically changing its identity.
However, if your brand equity is low, or if the brand has been associated with negative experiences or stagnancy, a branding refresh can be a strategic move to increase brand equity. It can provide an opportunity to change consumer perceptions and build a more positive and powerful brand image.
Again, the brand refresh process is reviewing ALL THE PARTS that make up building a brand to determine what parts need updating and what remain as solid.
Here are some qualifying reasons for a brand refresh:
- Your Brand Looks Outdated – If your logo, color scheme, or overall brand ‘look’ feels out-of-date or out-of-touch compared to your competitors, it might be time to look ‘current’ again.
- Your Business Has Evolved – Businesses evolve over time. If your company has significantly changed its direction, offers, services, or target audience since your brand was created or last updated, a refresh can help align your brand with your current business reality.
- You’re Not Attracting the Right Audience – If you’re struggling to connect with your desired target audience, it might be because your brand doesn’t resonate with them. A brand refresh can help you appeal more effectively to your ideal customers.
- Your Brand Message Is Confusing or Inconsistent – If your brand messaging seems unclear, inconsistent, or does not effectively communicate your brand’s purpose and values, a refresh can help you establish a more clear and consistent brand message.
- Market Competition has Increased – If competition in your market has heated up and you’re struggling to stand out, a branding refresh can help differentiate your brand and improve your competitive positioning.
- Your Company’s Reputation has Suffered – If your business has faced challenges or controversies that have negatively impacted its reputation, a branding refresh can help reset public perceptions and signal a new beginning.
Merger or Acquisition – If your company has been merged with or acquired by another company, it might be necessary to refresh the brand to reflect the new structure or strategy.
Remember, any decisions made during the brand refresh process should be strategic and based on a solid understanding of your brand’s current equity, target audience, market dynamics, and business goals.
NOTE: Only in the brand refresh process can you KNOW whether to RISK the decision to rebrand.
What is a brand refresh strategy? Our Step-By-Step Brand Refresh Process
As a branding agency, we understand how crucial brand recognition is to your business. Your brand holds value and equity built up over the years, and it’s vital that we honor and maintain this while updating and modernizing your brand. Here’s how we’ll do it:
STEP 1. Audit Existing Brand:
We start by conducting a thorough audit of your existing brand. This helps us understand the current perception and value your brand holds in the market. We identify which elements resonate with your audience and embody your company’s values.
STEP 2. Brand Evolution, Not Revolution:
Our approach to a brand refresh is one of evolution, not revolution. This means we don’t discard everything you’ve built up to now. Instead, we retain the core elements of your brand that your audience identifies with and appreciates. This can include key colors, certain design elements, or specific phrasing in your messaging.
STEP 3. Updating Outdated Elements:
While preserving your core identity, we focus on updating elements that seem outdated or irrelevant. This could include modernizing your logo, updating your color palette, revising your typography, or refreshing your messaging to better align with today’s context and audience expectations.
STEP 4. Incorporating Current Trends:
We’ll incorporate current design and communication trends that match your brand’s personality and appeal to your target audience. However, we make sure that any trend we adopt aligns with your brand’s core principles and has staying power to prevent your brand from becoming outdated quickly.
STEP 5. Data-driven Approach:
Our process is data-driven, ensuring our recommendations are not based on assumptions or personal preferences but on what works best for your business and industry. We rely on market research, user feedback, and competitive analysis to guide our design and communication decisions.
STEP 6. Engage and Involve Stakeholders:
We’ll also strategize on how to best communicate these changes to your stakeholders. By engaging and involving them in the process, we can ensure they understand the rationale behind the refresh and feel a part of your brand’s evolution.
STEP 7. Consistent Rollout (Upgraded Support):
When it’s time to introduce your refreshed brand, we’ll ensure a consistent rollout across all touchpoints – from your website and social media platforms to physical marketing materials and signage. This approach helps maintain brand recognition while showcasing your updated, modernized identity.
Our aim is to preserve your brand’s essence and the loyalty you’ve accumulated, while aligning your brand with its evolving marketplace and audience. Rest assured, your brand’s identity, recognition, and integrity are of utmost importance to us. That’s why we hold highly our approach to research, data, and risk management.
Some examples of work we’ve done (before and after)
Heritage Business Strategies (Refresh)
Kira Holley, a visionary dedicated to supporting Shopify business women in achieving financial success, approached 28Lions in April 2022 with a mission to expand her community and evolve her business, Heritage Bookkeeping, into an online powerhouse.
The collaboration began with extensive owner interviews and a series of workshops, aimed at understanding the industry challenges, brand objectives, and designing a strategy that brings the brand’s purpose, mission, and vision to life. With careful consideration, the Hero and Ruler archetypes were chosen to represent the brand’s identity and resonance with its audience, coupled with crafted language that magnetized and engaged the targeted audience.
The finalized brand strategy manifested a new name (keeping Heritage), unified voice, messaging, and style, which was then brought to life through compelling visuals and brand assets. The new logo, a synergistic mix of tailored typography and iconography, encapsulated the ethos of the name, ‘Heritage’ and its audience.
The chosen color palette, inspired by the rich legacy of women, featured greens that symbolized warmth, nature, and prosperity, and two shades of purple to represent boldness, confidence, royalty, and the power of women in community-building and relationship cultivation. Prior to the branding refresh, Heritage lacked a distinct identity to capture its audience’s attention.
However, the brand refresh process initiated by 28Lions not only provided Heritage with a robust visual identity, positioning it as an industry leader, but also reinvigorated the company with a newfound focus on its audience, thereby enhancing its leader’s capacities.
Abacus Business Solutions (Rebrand)
Abacus Business Solutions, a reputable accounting and consulting services firm, is revolutionizing the commercial construction industry by addressing income instability and cash flow issues prevalent among commercial builders.
Under the strategic leadership of CEO, Kerry Postel, the company made a conscious investment in its branding to propel long-term growth and guide Abacus towards transformative success.
The primary challenge was to morph Abacus from a general bookkeeping firm into an industry leader for accounting services tailored to commercial builders.
In line with their mission, Abacus pledges unwavering honesty, integrity, education, and genuine concern for their commercial builder clients, with the ultimate aim to foster understanding and trust in their financial numbers. Our role was to lead Abacus through our “Brand Foundation” process, a highly coveted strategy for brands seeking a solid foundation for their brand identity.
This foundational work serves as a bedrock for future marketing initiatives, ensuring that Abacus’s branding remains coherent and impactful in the long run.
MapleWorks Accounting Solutions (Brand Identity Redesign)
MapleWorks Accounting Solutions is an accounting firm dedicated to empowering business owners by relieving them of their financial burdens. Collaborating with the firm’s CEO, Karen Orr, has been a rewarding experience. Her leadership strength and genuine care for her clients are commendable.
Karen brilliantly handled her branding refresh by skillfully intertwining her mission, vision, and values into the logo’s design. She generously expressed her appreciation, stating, “A massive thank you to Zachy Perez and Nicole Andrew for their phenomenal work on this beautiful design.”
Our task was to create a distinct “Brand Identity” for MapleWorks Accounting Solutions. Collaborating closely with Karen, we crafted a compelling brand identity that resonates powerfully with her clientele.
Need Help Refreshing Your Brand?
Whether you’re considering to refresh your brand or you’re in the process of it, thinking, “Yeah, I need your help here.”, consider the possible opportunity working alongside us.
We offer 25+ years experience in branding and marketing. By choosing us to help you refresh your brand, you’re not just getting a service; you’re gaining a partner dedicated to rejuvenating your brand’s identity.
We provide the following process we mentioned above along with more. Review our case studies and testimonials. You’ll see that what drives us is to empower and equip you into leading the best your brand offers.
We look forward to helping you refresh your brand into making it a ROARING success.
Nicole Andrew is a 20 year brand designer, Level-C certified brand strategist, educator, and co-owner of 28Lions, a branding & marketing consultancy agency.