A Rebrand or a Refresh? Which is Right For Your Brand?

A Rebrand or a Refresh? Which is Right For Your Brand? 

average read time: 6 MIN


June 22, 2023

The moment has arrived for your organization to take a plunge into enhancing your brand’s worth. You may have heard of the buzzwords “rebrand” and “refresh,” but don’t be misled, as they are not interchangeable concepts. Although both tactics aim to improve a brand’s reputation, they differ in scope and approach. The question then arises – which approach is suitable for your brand? To clear up the confusion, we’ve prepared a comprehensive guide outlining the distinctions between rebranding and refreshing and the appropriate scenarios for pursuing each approach.


A rebrand is a complete overhaul of a brand’s image, including its positioning strategy, to its name, logo, messaging, and visual identity. It is a significant shift in the way a brand presents itself to the world. Rebranding is often undertaken when a company wants to reposition itself in the market, target a new audience, or make a bold statement about its values.

Rebranding is a big decision that requires a lot of resources and planning. It can be expensive, time-consuming, and risky if not executed properly. However, when done right, a rebrand can significantly impact a company’s bottom line. For example, when Mastercard rebranded in 2016, it saw a 20% increase in stock prices. This shows that a successful rebrand can positively impact a brand’s reputation and financial performance.


A rebrand should be considered when a company wants to change its image or direction significantly. This could be due to a shift in the target audience, a merger or acquisition, or a change in values or mission. For example, when Weight Watchers rebranded to WW in 2018, it reflected the company’s shift towards promoting overall health and wellness rather than just weight loss.

Typically these are triggers we see when brands need a refresh:

  • Your target audience: If your target audience has changed or your brand no longer resonates with them, a rebrand might be necessary to attract new customers.
  • Your company’s mission and values: If your company’s mission or values have changed, a rebrand can help you communicate those changes to your customers.
  • Your competition: If your brand is not standing out in the market or you’re facing increased competition, a rebrand can help you differentiate yourself.
  • Your brand’s visual identity: If your brand’s visual identity is outdated or no longer relevant, a rebrand can help you create a more modern and impactful image.
  • Your company’s goals: If you have ambitious goals for your company, such as expanding into new markets or launching new products, a rebrand can help you achieve those goals by positioning your brand for success.

Revamping Your Brand Checklist

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A refresh is a more subtle update to a brand’s image. It typically involves making minor changes to the outer layers of the brand, like the logo, messaging, and visual identity, to keep things relevant and modern. A refresh is often undertaken when a company wants to stay competitive or keep up with changing trends.

A refresh is less risky than a rebrand because it doesn’t involve a complete brand overhaul. However, a refresh still requires careful planning and execution to be effective. When McDonald’s refreshed its brand in 2018, it saw increased sales and customer loyalty. This shows that a refresh can also positively impact a brand’s reputation and financial performance.


A refresh should be considered when a company wants to stay up-to-date with current trends, stay relevant in a fast-paced market, or improve its performance. A refresh is a good option when a brand’s current elements are strong but need a little tweaking to reflect the company’s values better or appeal to a specific audience. For example, when McDonald’s refreshed its packaging in 2016, it modernized its image and made it more appealing to a younger audience.

Typically these are triggers we see when brands need a refresh:

  • Your brand is becoming outdated: If your brand looks stuck in the past, a refresh can help you keep it up-to-date and relevant.
  • Your brand is inconsistent: If your brand has inconsistent messaging or visual elements, a refresh can help you unify your brand and make it more cohesive.
  • Your competition is outpacing you: If your competitors are updating their branding, a refresh can help you keep up and stay competitive.
  • Your brand needs a boost: If your brand isn’t resonating with customers as much as it used to, a refresh can help you regain their attention and loyalty.

Brands are like people – they evolve over time. They can grow and change; sometimes, they need to step back and evaluate how their audience perceives them. That’s where rebranding and refreshing come in. Whether to rebrand or refresh a brand depends on a company’s goals, resources, and target audience. Rebranding is a significant change that requires a substantial investment of time, resources, and money, and it’s a strategy that should be taken seriously.

On the other hand, refreshing a brand is a less dramatic approach that requires fewer resources but can still significantly impact a brand’s performance and reputation. We also recommend talking to an agency like BLVR® to learn and assess what is right for your brand. Feel free to set a meeting here, or if you’d like to download our cheat sheet click here.

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