Mediagistic Blog

Brand Refresh vs. Redesign: Understanding the Benefits to Your Business

Max Pomeroy
Max Pomeroy

Your brand is one of the most defining aspects of your company. A strong brand establishes your business identity, highlights your values, and distinguishes you from the competition. Although your brand includes your logo, it goes far beyond this single image and encompasses your packaging, product design, marketing collateral, and voice. A good brand forms a positive emotional connection with the customer.

If your brand isn’t getting the reaction that you want, it’s time to take a closer look at how your customers perceive your company. You may find that it’s time for a light refresh or even a complete redesign. Updating your brand can transform the way your clients perceive you.

Refreshing Your Brand

A brand refresh is a gentle update that will give your brand a new look and feel while retaining its core elements. You’d typically keep much of your signature logo while adding small stylistic changes. Perhaps you’ll go for a more neutral color palette, or shift from a classic design to something more modern. You might adjust your messaging to try new key phrases, and update your voice for a tone that connects better to your target audience.

A brand refresh will help focus your message and revitalize your image. It can also help you adjust your approach to align better with market conditions, or draw in a demographic that you’re not connecting with. Enduring brands like Coca-Cola are masters of the subtle refresh that retains all the beloved familiarity of a valuable brand while featuring sleek updates that keep things current.

You should consider refreshing your brand if:

  • Your brand is older and you feel it needs updating for a more modern audience
  • Market conditions have changed in some significant way
  • Your products or services no longer align with your brand

Just remember that it’s best to avoid going overboard with current trends that may change in a heartbeat. It’s very likely that you still have valuable brand equities at your disposal. The key here is to build on those equities with the goal of creating something that truly will connect with your target consumer.

Below is an example of a brand refresh we did for a client’s direct mail campaign recently. You’ll see that the brand’s core features have been retained, while the design itself has been given a sleek, modern aesthetic:

example of a brand refresh

Redesigning or Rebranding

A brand redesign, or rebrand, is more involved than a refresh. This involves a complete overhaul of your brand’s image. Rebranding is a very involved process, so you want to consider your needs carefully before you invest in a complete redesign.

Redesign your brand if you feel it’s ineffective, or you’re targeting a drastically different audience. You may also benefit from rebranding if you’re making major changes to the core purpose and values of your business, or you’re approaching a merger. Consider redesigning/rebranding if:

  • Your brand is creating a strong negative response with your target audience
  • The market you’re targeting has changed fundamentally
  • You now have a completely different business model or product than when the brand was originally designed
  • A major PR disaster has occurred and your company needs to distance itself from the old brand

If you rebrand well, you can distance your business from negative publicity and create fresh new associations for your audience. You can reestablish yourself after a major setback or send a bold new message about the ways you’re fundamentally changing your company.

Unfortunately, though, rebranding comes with some risks. You may alienate or confuse your loyal customers. If your rebranding goes awry, as it did for Kraft Foods, you could go so far as to upset your buyers and generate public outcry.

Doing it Right (with Some Expert Assistance)

Expert advice and assistance are key when you’re refreshing or redesigning your brand. The idea is to give your business a fresh and consistent look and feel, and there’s no better way to do that than to bring in new eyes. With an experienced creative team on your side, you can identify and execute the best possible approach for your company, whether it’s a small facelift or a total overhaul of your brand.

At Mediagistic, our creative team is experienced both in brand refreshes and in complete brand redesigns. We’ll provide expert insight if you’re unsure of whether your brand needs a facelift or a complete overhaul.

Max Pomeroy is creative lead for Mediagistic. Along with 14 years of service with Mediagistic, he was worked in the Tampa Bay area for forty years. With a broad range of crafted expertise, Max has worked on multiple projects for major national brands such as General Motors/Cadillac, Lucasfilm Ltd., Nintendo of America, Inc., World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., International Speedway Corp. and Domino’s Pizza.

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