Imagine the frustration of entering a store with no clear signage, disorganized shelves, and no staff to guide you. How long would you stay? The same applies to website navigation.
Every owner of a company wants their brand to be recognized and appreciated by customers. Each company also aims at acquiring new customers on a regular basis. However, after years on the market, the brand strategy chosen at the beginning can get boring. The slogan and logo do not evoke emotions as they used to. The number of customers is starting to decline.
Luckily, you do not have to do all the rebranding right away. Even a slight brand refresh or other updates can be a game changer, arousing the interest of the recipients in the brand again. What is brand refresh exactly? Let’s go through the 7 steps to a new brand identity.
What is brand refresh?
Brand refresh is the easiest and most effective way to give your brand a new life, meaning, and most importantly, customers. The brand refresh strategy is about introduction of significant, but non-fundamental changes to the brand image.
It can be compared to plastic surgery – it does not change the entire appearance, as some of the old elements remain relevant.
The aim of these activities is primarily to update the brand and its branding as well as to adapt it to contemporary trends, the changed product offer, or the current marketplace.
As a result, a company displays a more modern brand, keeping up with changes in the industry and the market. However, it should not be confused with creating an entirely new brand.
What activities does brand refresh involve?
In order to conduct a brand refresh, we need to introduce small, yet important changes to the elements relevant to the brand image, such as:
- Logo – you can modify it slightly or create an entirely new logo design;
- Colors – they can be altered to better fit the new brand image, products, or customer expectations. For example, the green color scheme for an automotive brand highlights its approach to environmental protection;
- Typography – the font used for the name, slogans, taglines, texts on product packaging, or the brand website;
- Brand slogan – it is worth changing when you want to emphasize a new direction of brand development, a new quality or new updates to the current offer;
- Communication style – you should also consider modifying the way of communication if the target group changes. For example, today’s thirty or fourty year olds prefer other means of communication than their parents.
When is it worth refreshing your current brand?
Everyone who knows that it is necessary to conduct a brand refresh from time to time wonders when the right time to take action is. In most cases, it is enough to carry out a brand update every three to five years. It all depends on how quickly the market changes.
Usually, the producers of food, beverages, cosmetics, or clothing, should carry out brand refresh more often in order to stay up to date with trends. They also frequently increase the business scope with new products or methods of sale. On the other hand, brands related to finance, technology and healthcare need modifications every five years.
However, regardless of the industry, there are several signs indicating that the updated image of the brand is required. If you spot any of the signals listed below, it is time to make at least some minor changes to create a new brand image and give it new vitality.
1. New competition appears or the market share of the current competition increases
It is definitely worth thinking about brand refresh if you notice that the main competitors are gaining more revenues and clients on the market.
You may also notice that a competitor has just refreshed their brand and changed the logo, slogan, or way of communication with customers, which gave them a competitive edge over your business. Both situations should lead you to the same conclusion: it is time for a change.
2. There are no common elements within the brand
As a company evolves into a large corporation with multiple brands, different customer touchpoints may no longer be consistent.
If the brands have very divergent names, logos, or color palette, you definitely need to make changes to allow customers to distinguish and recognize them easily.
Visual elements within one brand can also be inconsistent. You should certainly work on their consistency, especially if each component looks as if it was created by a separate specialist and has almost nothing in common with the rest.
3. Marketing campaigns do not bring results
Marketing is extremely important for every business – it is one of the tools attracting new customers. If the results of the current marketing campaigns are significantly lower than previous ones, changes are necessary.
Deterioration of the effects may be caused by inconsistent marketing materials or their lack of appeal to the target audience. Falling sales is an extremely alarming signal that calls for updates.
4. The brand seems to be “from the last era”
Changes are necessary if any element of the brand image looks outdated. You do not need to be a brand strategy or communication specialist to notice a brand with a logo that simply looks old.
Every brand needs to communicate with its customers in a unique way. If a logo or slogan seems like it could be automatically generated by a program, and many similar brands use it, it is imperative that you do something about it.
5. You are looking for new audiences
You can only fulfill your desire to hit the new market with your products if you attract a new audience. Expanding your target audience to include new customers requires changes to encourage brand awareness.
Opening your brand to new target audiences often leads to changes in the brand identity that aim at showing new customers that the company does not focus only on the existing customer base.
Why is brand refresh important to business?
You might have already guessed that a brand refresh is important, but what advantages does it create? Let’s go through a few of the benefits of a brand update.
Attracting new customers and reminding the current ones about the company
Changes always trigger conversations because they are usually easy to notice and often come with an element of surprise. A new logo or slogan will reintroduce your company to the existing customers. Company’s branding updates can attract new potential customers, so it is crucial to modify it, even if it is already good, from time to time. Even small changes combined with proper marketing materials for target customers will bring desirable results.
Since the brand refresh can effectively encourage current and potential customers to interact with your company, it is obvious that it will increase your sales. The more often recipients think of a brand, the greater the likelihood that they will pick its products over the competitors’. It goes without saying that this is one of the most important things in business.
An opportunity to obtain funds for further business development
The brand refresh is the best way for brands looking for investors to highlight their value proposition, and present themselves as worth investing in.
Investors as well as consumers are willing to pay more for products made by the brands that are industry leaders with a large market share. They also prefer to support brands that are likely to succeed, which will enable them to profit more of such business investment.
Greater market power
Even though attracting new audiences seems to be difficult, maintaining the existing customer base poses even a bigger challenge. By refreshing the brand, you show them that your brand is developing, keeping up with your clients’ needs and staying ahead of the competition.
The brand refresh has a significant impact on the customer’s perception of a successful brand. Clients like to feel that they are in touch with the current brand within a big market space.
Justification for a price increase
Inflation, increased energy costs, and logistics issues mean that every company is forced to raise prices and look for methods to implement them. How to ease the process? The brand refresh is one of the best ways to account for the increased prices.
Customers are often willing to pay more for products of a company when they consider it to be a premium brand. On the other hand, a boring, unoriginal company with a clichéd look and the same brand identity for a long time cannot expect their products to be successful.
Attracting new employees with electrifying personalities
Brand refresh is a great opportunity to update multiple aspects of a business, so it can be perceived as a better employer. Everybody wants to work for brands that are industry leaders with a high market position. Older brands, which have not changed anything for a long time, face issues when trying to find good and motivated employees.
The brand refresh signals to employees and job seekers that a company is up-to-date with new trends and will meet their needs. Such businesses are appreciated and have a chance to create a team of real specialists.
Discover the transformative power of a brand refresh with our specialized branding services, designed to elevate your business.
Brand refresh vs other ways to modify brands
There are four forms to implement brand changes. Apart from the brand refresh, there is also rebranding, redesign, and lifting. How do these methods differ? How can you distinguish the brand refresh from them?
Brand refresh vs rebranding
The brand refresh may be associated with the rebranding process. However, there is a big difference between the two. Refreshing is a minor change, just at the fundamental level, while rebranding is a major interference in the entire structure of the brand.
Total rebrand usually results from a change in the strategy of the brand and the following need to adjust visual elements, communication methods and marketing activities to the new strategy, so that they are consistent with the new goals of the brand.
Complete rebrand includes a new logo, corporate website, products, services, pricing, communication, packaging, marketing materials, customer experience, and customer service.
Rebranding results in the biggest changes when it comes to building awareness, core identity, and brand identity. It is a new, better start and a way to create a fresh or modified brand story.
Brand refresh vs redesign
While the brand refresh may cover several elements, the redesign is concerned only with one, which functions differently than agreed in the initial assumptions. However, you should bear in mind that changing one element as a part of rebranding may actually require modifications in others as well.
Still, periodical redesign is worth considering because it allows companies to keep abreast of trends, adapt to the current customers preferences as well as increase their trust, and thus, sales.
Brand refresh vs lifting
Lifting is a concept mostly associated with the beauty industry. When it comes to the branding, it is related to activities leading to visual brand refresh. However, it should be noted that the target audience, mission, or brand positioning remain unchanged.
7 steps to refresh your brand
You need to remember about a few important things that should be done to create the brand refresh strategy fast and effectively. You can do it yourself, but it is better to work with an interactive agency such as Nopio. The agency employs specialists who will help and guide you through the brand refresh in the correct way. Here are the 7 steps for the successful process, i.e., the ultimate brand refresh checklist.
Step 1. Conduct competitive analysis and brand audit
Competitor analysis is a fundamental step in the brand refresh. It is beneficial to check if other brands have already carried out this process and what changes they have made. It is also worth investigating which company in the industry is attracting the most new customers and has a leading edge in the market. Based on the observations, you can draw conclusions, which will enable you to develop an appropriate brand refresh strategy.
Another very important part of the brand refresh is a brand audit, i.e., an analysis of the current brand situation in order to decide what needs to be changed.
Step 2. Change your brand logo
The old logo eventually becomes boring and fails to attract attention. It is sometimes helpful, or even necessary, to implement far-reaching changes. A new logo design may require updating all the design elements, such as adding the new font, graphics, and colors.
The changes will help the brand to be noticed (and very likely appreciated), especially if they are consistent with the entire brand image. This is a simple step for a company to increase sales and a chance of succeeding.
Step 3. Awaken new emotions in recipients
It is worth considering whether the brand still evokes any emotions. What aroused them just a few or 10 years ago has probably now evolved in completely different directions. If that is the case, it is time for a change in communication. The brand refresh is not only about changes to visual identity, but also in regards to communication on the website or in social media channels. Brand ambassadors also evoke emotions among customers, especially if they are valued and famous people.
Step 4. Open new communication channels with customers
When you refresh the brand, you should take opening new communication channels with customers into account. If you run an online store, think about a store blog that will create your image as an industry expert. You can also set up a YouTube channel or social media accounts. Communication is one of the most important marketing activities that you should focus on very intensively. Recipients really appreciate this element of branding. It can also help you significantly expand the customer base.
Step 5. Create a new brand identity
The visual refresh includes not only updating the old logo, but also other elements of the visual identity. Visual branding is extremely important if a brand is to be successful and gain new audiences. In addition to the new logo, a color palette and typography also should be changed.
Step 6. Refresh the website
If you have decided to refresh the visual identity of your brand, you must also modify the website. However, this does not require you to create a completely new digital space. All you need to do is add a new logo or change the colors, fonts, or graphics. Use our website redesign guide to learn more about planning a website refresh.
However, if you introduce changes in communication with customers, it is worth informing them about it on the website. Add social media icons if you have created new accounts, and implement a chat or a contact form if you have not done this already. Any such action will be beneficial for your company and may increase interest in your products.
Step 7. Start new PR activities
You should also launch a PR campaign to inform recipients about the recent brand updates. What actions can you take? For example, buy sponsored articles, add a case study on your business blog, send a newsletter, or even get the industry media interested in changes in your company. Your personal makeover may also be important for PR and communication, especially if the brand is related to you in some way. A different approach to the target audience can also appear to be an effective solution.
Brand refresh examples
All major brands in the world decide on the brand refresh from time to time. We have combined some brand refresh examples that can help you figure out your brand refresh strategy. Take a look at how the largest businesses grow in the market.
Apple, the brand founded by Steve Jobs, is a textbook example of a perfect brand refresh. It was as early as in the 90s when Apple decided to move away from the personal computer market to focus on consumer electronics. The rainbow logo was replaced by a modern, yet subtle substitute. Even though it was not a very drastic change as the shape remained the same, the logo has been much better fitting the technology industry. It also helps Apple to hold a unique position on the market and continue to gain new customers.
When it comes to this company, the brand refresh was quite bold. The goal was to create not only a new brand, but also to make it stand out from the competition. As we know, there are many car brands, so it is a challenge to be noticeable in this business sector. Thanks to an effective lifting, the new Peugeot car models are associated with high performance, quality workmanship, and modernity.
Starbucks is an American giant on the coffee shop market. This is a great example of the brand refresh which many brands do not even consider as it involved changing the original, globally recognizable sign. However, the new logotype became even more popular and, most importantly, quickly fitted the expectations of a new, younger target audience.
Revolut is an international fintech company that has quickly changed its target audience. It began as an application for young people and turned into a brand operating under a banking license. In this situation, the brand refresh was undoubtedly necessary. For example, the previous logo was associated with the application and start-up, while the current one inspires greater trust among recipients – which is essential in the financial market, as nobody will keep their money on an account manned by a shady institution.
The Mastercard brand faced the same challenge as Starbucks, as it has removed its name from the globally recognizable logo with two interlocking circles. As a result, the brand presented itself as more modern. Simplicity is one of the biggest trends in today’s logos, so it is worth considering it during the design phase.
Southwest is a well-known American airline. In order to connect not only with business travelers, but also with a younger audience, the logo was revolutionized. The plane disappeared entirely, while the remaining name of the airline was put in a different font as well as color, and accompanied by a heart. The changes were also introduced to the other brand elements such as colors, website, and even airports. It was a modern refresh, but in line with the identity of the Southwest brand.
It is your turn to refresh your brand
Have you not modified your brand yet, although it has been on the market for at least a few years? Do you notice reduced interest, much worse sales, or low traffic?
It is time to refresh your brand, modernize it, keep up with the market trends and gain a competitive edge over the competition. Do you want to get more insight into this process?
Take a look at other articles on our blog. You can learn more about logo redesign, questions to ask when rebranding, or brand consistency examples. The latter is extremely important to the ultimate success of the brand, so make sure to read it thoroughly.
We hope that our articles will help you with your brand refresh process and your branding efforts will be a great success.
The brand should stay relevant, but remember not to rest on proverbial laurels. Probably in a few years you will have to change something again, or even entirely revolutionize your business.