The Difference Between a Rebrand and a Refresh

I once suggested that it might be time for a client to give their brand “a bit of a refresh.”

The response?

“Well I don’t want to go through the whole process of changing my logo and everything! And then all the colors!”

It was at that point I realized that we weren’t on the same page. I also realized that when it comes to any branding process many people get the concepts of refresh and rebrand confused.

So What’s a Refresh?

Essentially, a refresh is giving your brand a facelift.

You aren’t throwing everything about your company’s look, feel, tone, and style out the door. You’re simply nipping here and tucking there.

Think of it this way: If someone goes to your website on Monday and sees the old brand, and then comes back to the site on Tuesday and sees the refreshed brand, that person should never question whether or not they were on the same site or interacting with same company.

Things may look smoother, feel more energetic, and have more colors, but it still feels like the same company—just newer!

In terms of visual communication, a brand refresh usually aims to make use of a company’s pre-existing logo and colors to expand on them. However, in some cases the logo and colors aren’t addressed, but the rest of the company’s visual presence is (website, social media, digital mailer, etc.).

A great example of a brand refresh is one we completed for IntelliSyn.

And What’s a Rebrand?

A rebrand is more extreme. It’s not a facelift—it’s essentially getting a NEW face.

A rebrand is about completely rethinking how your company will look and feel, and how it will interact with people in tone and style.

A full rebrand takes everyone back to the drawing board and demands answers to simple (yet not-so-easy-to-answer) questions like:

  • Who are we?
  • What do we stand for?
  • What are we offering customers?
  • What value do we offer customers?
  • What are we selling?
  • What are we marketing?
  • How do we look?
  • How do we speak/communicate?

And once these, and many other questions, are answered the process of logo design, color selection, and all that fun visual stuff starts.

Simply, a full rebrand isn’t reinventing the wheel, but it comes pretty darn close.

A great example of a full rebrand is the one we just completed for our own company’s identity: 

As you can see, we took the Aragona brand and shook it right up. Everything was on the table for elimination, and  it wouldn’t make the cut if it wasn’t based on the new criteria and standards we developed.

When Is It Time for a Rebrand or Refresh?

So when exactly should you consider a rebrand or a refresh?

Not to worry! In another blog, we cover exactly that.


If you think your company can benefit from a rebrand or refresh, get in touch with us and we’ll help you build the unique identity you need to make an impression with your audiences and stand out. 

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