Brand refresh vs. rebrand… these terms may sound interchangeable, but they are two very different things. How can you determine which one is the best choice for your business? Consider this — a company’s brand is synonymous with its personality and brand voice.

If yours isn’t giving off the vibe you want it to, it’s time for a change. That means you’ll either want to consider a refresh or rebrand. In some cases, a refresh could be the stepping stone for a larger transformation down the line.

Let’s talk about the differences and the reasons for each one and which might be the best choice for your brand.

Brand refresh vs. rebrand: Which is right for you?

A refresh does not change the core personality of your brand. Rather it spruces it up a little bit, like a fresh coat of paint. It enhances what you have already built.

Rather than starting over, you’re just enhancing your brand.

Refreshes could include:

  • A slightly updated logo
  • New color palette
  • An updated website
  • Updated fonts

A rebrand is essentially starting over from scratch. You’re knocking this house down, and you’re going to build a new one in its place. One that’s more suited to your taste and will showcase your (new) personality.

A rebrand could include:

  • A completely new logo
  • Showcasing a different personality
  • Pivoting to serve a different market
  • Expanding to appeal to a larger market

Why it’s important to refresh your brand

We don’t often get it right on the first try. While your brand may have served you well for many years, you may come to a point where it’s time for a change. This could stem from reasons like a change in leadership.

Who’s driving the ship? A new captain will likely have a vision for a new direction, leading the way for a refresh.

This could be something simple like freshening up resources with a new color palette or be a bit more in-depth with a new website content strategy and full makeover . A refresh is your chance to show the growth of your brand without overhauling it completely.

3 real examples of successful brand refreshing

When it comes to brand refreshes, there are many companies out there that have done it well. Some that stand out include:

1. Starbucks

Starbucks’ approach to a refresh is proof that small changes over time can result in a major impact. Starbucks’ logo has evolved over time, eventually dropping the “Starbucks coffee” text in its logo, yet maintaining its signature siren. With or without the text, it’s clear which brand the logo belongs to.

2. Instagram

Instagram took a similar approach to its refresh by updating its logo,  giving it a more modern twist that was more fitting of a brand evolving beyond simply photo sharing.

3. Mastercard

Mastercard is another on the list that modernized its logo, without changing much aside from removing its name. The color palette remained the same as does the impact. It’s a small change that proves less is more.

Why it’s important to rebrand

Often a rebrand is born out of the need to, essentially, keep up with the times. As the world evolves, business must too, otherwise you risk being left behind.  Many companies that opt to go for a complete rebrand are looking to modernize their image or attract a new audience.

Or perhaps you’ve taken on a persona that does not fit the current perception of your brand.

A rebrand allows your business to take on a new voice, showcase a fresh look, and reach new audiences.

3 real examples of successful rebranding

Rebranding is a bolder move, but for some brands, it’s essential to staying relevant and relatable to audiences.

1. Old Spice

It’s no longer your grandfather’s deodorant. Old Spice debuted a new look, complete with new tone and voice, pivoting completely into a newer, fresher personality. This change helped the brand appeal to a broader audience of all ages.

2. Dunkin’

Dunkin’ Donuts is no more. The brand dropped the “Donuts,” allowing its logo to showcase its expanded offerings. It’s not just for donuts anymore. This is a great example of rebranding to accommodate new offerings and business strategy, and the Dunkin’ rebrand got it right.

3. Tupperware

The beloved kitchen staple has adapted to be more modern and appeal to today’s consumer. The brand became popular in the 50s when it grew a following of loyal consumers and those who threw Tupperware parties.

Tupperware stayed true to its roots even through a rebrand that saw a new tagline, one that pays homage to those who sell it: “Confidence Becomes You.” The rebrand included a new voice, modern look and content targeted toward storytelling.

watch your brand soar

Grab some polish and let your brand shine

If you’ve determined it’s time for a change, you can undergo a minor refresh or go all out with a rebrand. The examples above show that it only takes minor tweaks to make a big difference.  In some cases that’s all that’s needed to reinvent your image.

However, if the changes your brand needs to make go beyond surface level, a rebrand will allow you to showcase a new look that is truer to your business.

Whichever option you select — brand refresh vs. rebrand — it’s important to ensure your existing or new brand aligns with your values, highlights your personality, reaches your target audience, and projects the image you’ve worked so hard to build.

No rebrand or refresh is complete without updated content to match. From web copy to press releases, talk to a content specialist today about getting high-quality content developed for your brand.