Brand refresh or rebrand?

The dictionary defines a ‘rebrand’ as “changing the corporate image of a company or organisation”.

Many people think the word ‘brand’ refers to a company name and logo. In reality, a brand is made up of multiple elements that can each be reviewed, changed and reworked to varying degrees, with or without changing the logo and name.

Before deciding whether you require a rebrand or brand refresh, it’s important to consider the broader brand development process:


Effective brands are build on strong foundations. Prior to starting any brand development work, it’s crucial to take the time to clearly articulate the core sentiments that underpin your brand. Starting with your proposition (what you do — the easy bit!), you then need to articulate your purpose (why you do it), positioning (how you’re different), and personality (how you’re perceived).

This work is typically done following a change of strategic direction, often triggered by changes in leadership, mergers, acquisitions and increasingly, the need to carefully consider your impact on people and planet.

The brand strategy forms the cornerstone of the creative brief and guides the creative development to ensure the strategy and visual identity work effectively together.


Having defined your brand strategy, it’s important to review the elements that make up your visual and verbal identity to ensure they reflect the same characteristics.

It’s best practice to review all the elements that make up your brand’s identity together, to ensure they reflect the strategy that underpins them. Typically your visual identity consists of your logo, typography, colours, imagery and iconography. It’s also important to ensure your verbal identity (name, strapline, key messages) is properly aligned.

Rebrand or refresh?

Whether a project is a rebrand or refresh, will be determined by the amount of change in your positioning or how much equity there is in your current brand identity. If the name and logo are changed completely, this would be typically be referred to as a rebrand. If the name remains the same and some of the existing visual themes are retained, this would be classed as a brand refresh.

Even well established, successful brands should conduct regular brand health checks to ensure they’re staying aligned with their core purpose. If you’re considering a rebrand — or brand refresh — drop me an email for a chat about how we can help.