Collective: Rebrand or Refresh

How often should you rebrand? 

This is one of the most common questions we get asked as a branding agency. And like most things, there is not a ‘one size fits all’ answer. However, it does require proper consideration. 

What’s the difference between a rebrand and a refresh? 

Brand Refresh, or Brand Evolution as we prefer to call it, involves making subtle changes to the brand without completely overhauling it and starting from scratch. It might include updating the logo or colour palette, refining the messaging, or tweaking the visual identity. In reviewing a brand, often the logo or brand mark is fine, however the visual execution is what needs work. Often, businesses develop a plethora of marketing collateral over time, resulting in diluted, mixed messaging and inconsistent brand representation. Addressing this without losing the existing customer base is the key objective of a brand refresh.

A brand tweak or evolution is often the appropriate option when a brand has equity, a loyal audience and positive associations but needs an update to stay competitive. It’s also the way in which a brand shows innovation and moving forward, staying on trend, and showing awareness of their customer’s needs. There are many examples of leading, trusted brands that have evolved over their journey:

This can often be part of the process as the brand gains recognition and no longer requires elaborate branding or explanation to be identified. These are both perfect examples. 


This is a more significant change that involves developing a completely new brand identity, including logo, (may also be naming) messaging, graphics and imagery. A professional rebrand will start with strategy and take time to consider the competitive landscape, current and future markets, growth opportunities and most importantly the brand essence and brand values, to ensure that the new brand reflects these attributes. 

It’s generally clear when a business needs a rebrand. Here’s a list of criteria to define the need for a new brand identity:

  • It’s just not relevant any longer, outdated or there is negativity associated with the brand. (It’s simply old and daggy)
  • It doesn’t appeal to your current target audience or would not attract a new demographic.
  • There are new competitors in the market that are more contemporary and more relevant to the current market landscape.
  • You’re looking to expand and seek new growth opportunities. 
  • You need to reposition your business to attract a younger demographic. 
  • The brand doesn’t align or accurately represent your current vision, values, and goals
  • The design, format or colour is restrictive in its application e.g. digital platforms 
  • You’re changing business direction, with a new offering, products or services that require a different brand execution 

Brand Equity

Understanding brand equity is fundamental. It’s the difference between a business and a successful brand and represents the value that a brand has in the minds of the consumer. These intangible assets and advantages include:

  • Recognition
  • Perception
  • Trust
  • loyalty

Becoming a trusted brand and establishing loyalty, it the key to long term success. 

Pro & Cons of rebranding

Brand is about connection and the way in which businesses engage with their audience. The brand should tell a story that attracts and engages an audience. A compelling brand can provide a distinct advantage in the market, by stimulating loyalty, creating brand ambassadors and goes a long way to ensuring longevity in the market. A powerful brand can also attract and retain the best team, if the brand values are an integral part of the culture. 

On the downside, a full rebrand can be costly. Beyond the strategy and design work, a 

re brand may require a financial investment to execute the new look across all brand touchpoints, communication material, digital assets, signage, uniforms etc. 

Whether it’s a subtle brand evolution or complete re brand, it should be well considered and strategic. A well thought out and executed transformation can elevate a brands competitiveness directly impact sales and market share. 

A brand evolution is a journey, choosing the right partner to take you through the process is crucial. At Sidedoor, we bring expertise, strategic insights and considered design together, to create impactful and contemporary branding. 

Our team of brand specialists can navigate you through our Brand Ideology process to ensure the development of a relevant and engaging brand that is aligned with your business values and vision. 

Contact us to arrange a Brand Review.