It seems like every day I see an article telling companies about considering rebranding. But the conversation of refreshing your brand rather than rebranding doesn’t seem prevalent. So, what is a brand refresh? It is a regular evaluation of the components of your brand guidelines to align them with small changes in design standards, language evolution, and business priorities.

Refreshing your brand at least once a year is vital and is what keeps you from getting to the point where you need a rebrand. A brand is not something that you create and then put on the bookshelf.  It requires attention and evolves organically along with your business. It is your company’s personality. Think about all of the things you have learned over the last year. Have you learned to use some new words, present concepts more clearly, changed your hair or bought a few new outfits? You are constantly refreshing your personal brand, and it is vital that you pay the same level of attention to your company’s brand.

There are elements of your brand that are a reflection of the period of the time they were created, just like your haircut or clothes. Let’s use icons for example. Icon trends evolve from beveled to flat, from complex to simple. The concept that is being demonstrated by an icon is not changing, but the design representation indicates whether or not you have been paying attention to communication and design trends.

While I am a marketer, I am tired of marketers pushing and selling rebranding. The conversation about maintaining your brand is far more important. If brand refreshing has not been part of your marketing team conversation, then I recommend that you start the conversation. If you just went through a rebrand, then make refreshing your brand part of your yearly plan to keep it aligned with your business as it evolves.

To kick off your conversation, here are a few questions for you to determine whether you actually need a rebrand or whether you need a brand refresh. If you answered no to the majority of these, then you probably need a brand refresh rather than a rebrand.

  • Do you plan to change your name?
  • Do you plan to use a completely different logo?
  • Has your value proposition completely changed?
  • Has your product or service offerings drastically changed?
  • Are you trying to disassociate from the reputation of your current brand?
  • Does your current brand struggle to relate to your target demographic?
  • Does your current brand limit your growth plans?