Refreshed, Rebranded, Revitalized
How Businesses Attract and Maintain Their Market Appeal
In my post Brand 101–On Brand (and Identity, and Branding), I make the point that your brand represents your relationship with your audience. Through this bond, your customers attach meaning to your values and visual identity, as well as your actions and communications.
Everything you do adds to the perception of who you are as a business. Your brand messaging must be consistent, but it’s equally as important to keep pace with the times, and the taste and attitudes of your audience.
I also said that a brand is a promise, and trust is fickle. A strong brand is built on authenticity and consistency, but that’s not enough to maintain your customers’ attention. What can you do if you’re not reaching, growing, or holding on to your intended audience?
Perhaps you need a refresh or a rebrand.
No, they’re not the same thing. As you’ll see, it depends on what you need to achieve.
A refresh is usually an evolution of a brand’s visual identity. These changes may seem small, like a logo adjustment, but they are significant. It rejuvenates the look and feel of the business for a modern audience that differentiates you from the competition.
The purpose of a refresh is to appeal to a new or wider audience or the changing tastes of an existing customer base. It’s also an effective way of reintroducing a business’s core offering and attracting audiences to a new or expanded range of products and services.
For example, in 2007 we helped Marie Graham define a strong visual identity for her fledgling company, The Refreshed Home, appropriate to the market she wanted to attract at the time.
Over the years, The Refreshed Home has grown into an award-winning design and home staging company. We have consistently revisited her brand identity as Marie expanded her services in line with the needs of her increasing target audience. You can see examples of this in our case study.
On the surface, a rebrand may seem like a refresh, but it’s more of a clean start than an evolution. We may repurpose some elements we started with, but a rebrand is a reset, allowing for a new direction for the business.
Why would we do that? Well, we’ve seen rebranding used to combat a company’s negative reputation, but there are many other reasons. A change of management, a long-outdated image, or repositioning to take advantage of new customer markets.
This is what Shaun Stokes was hoping to achieve when we rebranded his landscaping firm Country Lawnscapes. In a competitive market, Shaun wanted to stand out, attract a more upscale clientele, and find larger landscaping projects.
We stayed true to Shaun’s vision but shifted the tone of his messaging. We moved away from service delivery towards a more aspirational direction that highlighted his holistic approach and speaks to customers looking to transform their land.
You can see the results at countrylawnscapes.com.
You can learn more about Shaun’s journey in his case study.
Change is inevitable, particularly in business. A strong visual identity will attract customers, but it needs to be timely, or you risk falling behind the competition. For long-term success, be in tune with the audience you want to attract and retain and refresh or rebrand when the time is right to maintain the appeal of your target market.
Why not get in touch if your brand needs help to grow? We’ll explore your intentions and find the most appropriate response, whether it’s a logo refresh or a new identity.
This is Rick, signing off.
Howdy! I’m Rick, a brand expert and seasoned graphic designer in NY’s Hudson Valley. For more than 40 years I’ve been creating remarkable brand solutions for individuals, companies and nonprofits here and beyond.
I want people to understand why brand is essential to their business, share a few personal experiences, and explore what goes into a good (or bad) design.