Brand Refresh vs. Rebrand: What’s Best For Your Company?

No budget for a rebrand? Consider a brand refresh.

Parks and Recreation is a mockumentary-style television show that follows Leslie Knope, the deputy director of the Parks and Recreation department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. The show features a star-studded cast with Amy Poehler as Knope, Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Aziz Ansari, Rashida Jones, Retta, and a little-known actor named Chris Pratt.

I’m a huge Parks and Rec fan. I can pick up the show anytime and binge half a dozen episodes in one sitting. My favorite episode is, without a doubt, the “Child Size Drink.” 

Pratt’s Andy Dwyer was one of my favorite characters on Parks and Rec. Let’s just say Pratt was a bigger guy in the show’s early years. His image started to change in 2011 when he landed the role of Oakland A’s first baseman Scott Hatteberg in Moneyball (a great movie) and was kicked into high gear when he scored the lead in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (another great film). He underwent a rigorous diet and exercise program to transform his body and get into superhero shape for Guardians.

How’d he do it? Six months of no beer, three or four hours a day of P90X, running, swimming, boxing, and kickboxing, and he even completed a triathlon.

Chris Pratt’s image was tired. He didn’t need to become a new person. He needed to refresh how people saw him. The new Pratt is the same funny, down-to-earth guy. The biggest difference is he now has a six-pack and a lot more zeros in his bank account.

What do movie stars and businesses have in common? They both have brands. The most successful brands take control of their narrative to cast the desired perception with their audience.

Parts of a Brand

A brand is made up of two equally important parts—the visual and the nonvisual brand.

A visual brand is like a picture that represents a company. It includes things like logos, colors, and words. It helps companies be different from others. It can show people how good the company is and how much they care about its customers. A good brand will help people remember the company.

Brands are like people—they have a personality of their own. Brands need to make sure they communicate their personality to the world in a way that people can understand. They do this with stories, promises, and taglines. This is called brand voice or nonvisual brand.

Why To Refresh Your Brand

Every business needs to keep its brand up-to-date in order to remain relevant. This is especially true for business-to-business (B2B) companies, as they need to stay ahead of the curve to attract new customers and retain existing ones. One way a B2B company can do this is by undergoing a brand refresh instead of a complete rebrand.

Brand refreshes and rebrands are both beneficial, but there are certain situations when brand refresh may be the more preferable option. Next, we’ll explore the differences between brand refreshes and rebrands, explain why brand refreshes are preferable for B2B companies, and suggest actionable steps they can take to begin the brand refresh process.

What Is A Brand Refresh? 

A brand refresh is a process that involves updating and refining your brand’s existing elements without changing its core identity or brand messaging. It’s an opportunity to freshen up the look and feel of your brand while staying true to who you are as a brand—think of it as a subtle “makeover” of sorts. It can involve everything from tweaking your logo design, updating color schemes, revising website content, the all-important non-visual brand message, and more. The goal is to modernize your brand while keeping the original brand identity intact. A brand refresh is like putting a fresh coat of paint and replacing the furniture in a home you love.

What Is a Rebrand?

A rebrand is a more drastic overhaul of your brand’s elements to make them more modern or to shift brand direction entirely. It’s a much bigger and more costly undertaking than a brand refresh, as it involves completely revamping the look and feel of your brand by changing the logo design, color schemes, website design, brand messaging, and more. In some cases, you may even need to change your company name. A rebrand is the equivalent of knocking down a house and starting from scratch.

Benefits of Brand Refresh for B2B Companies

There are many benefits that a B2B company can gain from doing a brand refresh instead of a rebrand. First, it’s a much quicker and less expensive process than a rebrand, as it doesn’t require completely starting from scratch. It also gives you the opportunity to update your brand elements without straying too far from your brand identity or original brand message.

Furthermore, brand refreshes allow you to maintain recognition with existing customers while at the same time allowing you to attract new ones. Lastly, brand refreshes can help invigorate employee motivation and morale by recapturing their connection with the brand through subtle changes that showcase its evolution over time.

How To Begin The Brand Refresh Process

When it comes to beginning the brand refresh process, it all starts with a plan. There are a few key steps that you’ll want to take in order to ensure a successful brand refresh.

First and foremost, it’s important to have clear brand objectives in mind. This will help you determine the specific brand elements that need refreshing, such as logo design, website content, etc. You should also take the time to research your target audience and industry trends to get an idea of what types of brand updates would be most effective for connecting with them.

Once you have established these key factors, it’s time to bring in the experts. Working with professional brand strategists and marketing agencies can help you create a brand refresh strategy that is tailored specifically to your B2B company’s needs.

By following these steps, your brand will say “goodbye” to Burt Macklin and “hello” to Star-Lord in no time.

Jason is a Partner and the CEO at Revel, a B2B marketing agency. He is a diehard baseball fan who loves his Detroit Tigers. Family vacations often revolve around seeing games in different MLB ballparks around the country – they’ve been to 21 so far and counting. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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