Your brand identity is a part of everything you do, so keeping a consistent look and feel is essential for your customers to understand who you are and what you stand for. However, it’s equally important to review your visual identity regularly to be sure it reflects your brand’s current value proposition.

In this blog, we explain the differences between rebranding and a brand refresh and guide you through how to refresh your brand.

A brand refresh vs rebranding

As a healthcare marketer, it’s fundamental to understand the impact of these two activities, and reasons behind why a brand would decide to undertake either.

A brand refresh involves updating and improving your brand identity, image and communications to better align with your brand values and goals. This is usually to give brands a boost to stay relevant in a changing market or keep up with customer expectations.

A rebrand is a more radical undertaking that addresses deep-rooted challenges within a brand. This activity goes back to basics and will completely reposition a brand within the market. This allows a brand to entirely reinvent itself and create a new identity to reach new markets and customers but also stand out from competitors.

5 steps to a brand refresh

It might not be as radical as a rebrand, but refreshing your brand when done properly can give your brand a new lease of life, reaffirming your commitment to the needs of your audience.


1. Assess your brand’s current impact

It’s important that your brand’s impact is continually assessed to guarantee it still resonates with your audience. When assessing the impact of your brand, consider:

Does the brand:

  • Provide significant competitive differentiation that is difficult for rivals to copy?
  • Cross the borders of countries and markets?
  • Influence behaviour and attitudes?
  • Attract customer loyalty over time?
  • Energise the organisation?

If the answer to any of those is “No” or “Not to its full potential”, then a brand refresh may be needed.


2. Evaluate your story

To stay current, a brand must evolve alongside its customers and competitors; constantly growing and adapting to challenges and trends in the marketplace. This adaptation is regularly done through communications for most brands, however your visual identity may not reflect your current story. If the brand evolves, so should its visual identity.

While there is no set rule for how often this should be done, it is good practice to review and update your visual identity every 3-5 years.

Updating your design to better align with your current proposition, positioning and perception can enhance your communications, meaning your message resonates more with your audience.


3. Evolution not revolution

Evolving your visual identity is essential to stay relevant with your target audience and maintain an edge against competitors. That being said, you don’t want to implement major changes that make your brand unrecognisable to your existing customers.

It’s important to understand that this is not a rebranding. Think of a brand refresh more as improving parts of your current offering.

Refreshed branding is reassuring to existing customers, while simultaneously attracting attention from new ones.


4. Small changes make a big difference

Having a memorable and recognisable logo helps to increase loyalty and brand awareness. Therefore, any changes made to the design should be small and introduced incrementally so that the new identity is a refreshed extension of the old.

For example, many of the consumer brand giants made small changes to their logos over time, evolving their design yet keeping key elements the same so the brand was still recognisable.

These enhancements to your design ensure the recognition and positive associations that existed with the previous identity remain, retaining your loyal customer base.


5. Buy into the refresh

Having your whole organisation on board with the refresh will go a long way towards communicating your value proposition to new and existing customers, breeding further loyalty.

It can be useful to specify if any changes to the actual product have been made and communicate those to your audience. This mitigates any misconceptions that a design change means changes to the product they already know.


Think it might be time for a refresh for your brand? Get in touch to find out more about how IGNIFI can work with you.

Posted by Frank Taylor
Senior Creative

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