Episode 184: The Difference Between Rebranding and a Brand Refresh

July 14, 2021

The Difference Between Rebranding and a Brand Refresh

Does your brand need a little sprucing up? Maybe something in your brand just isn’t clicking anymore. Maybe you feel like you’ve outgrown your brand. That might mean it’s time for a rebrand or a brand refresh!

Let’s discuss the differences in a rebrand and a refresh, how to know which to choose, and how to communicate it with your audience! Plus, we’ll even share how you can audit your own brand each year to decide if it’s still serving you well.

Rebrand vs. Brand Refresh

If you’re feeling a disconnect in your brand, it could be time to completely scrap it—but you also have the option to simply refresh it. Let’s take a look at the difference.

Rebrand: Creating all brand new designs, offering a blank slate for you.

Brand Refresh: Changing certain elements of your brand to better serve your business, without scrapping everything.

Oftentimes, we go through a rebrand when in reality, we loved certain elements of our brand so we just needed a refresh. So if you’re feeling this way about your brand, which one better serves you?

Communicating Your Brand’s Growth & Changes with Your Audience

Something that is really important in deciding if you need a rebrand or a brand refresh is understanding the why behind the changes. Are you changing because you feel a disconnect, you’re changing your name, is your audience shifting, or maybe your services are shifting.

If you have an existing audience, you may want to take them on the rebrand or refresh journey with you, as to not confuse them when you’re officially rebranded. Not only for the sake of clarity, but your audience will be invested in the change and will want to know all about the progress along the way.

You don’t have to spill everything to your audience, but think about it in terms of sharing the growth of your business and how that impacts your decision to rebrand or refresh your brand.

How can you educate your clients on what’s coming, how it’s coming, and why it’s coming?

Audit Your Brand

As a brand, it’s important to audit what represents you, especially as you grow and shift in time. You could do a simple brand audit once or twice a year by asking yourself the following quesitons:

Does my website still reflect the level of service and expertise I bring to the table?
Does my logo and collateral reflect the expertise I bring to the table?
Do I see consistent income from my ideal brand clients?
Am I converting my leads?
Am I seeing consistent income from my ideal customers?

If you’re answering no to any of these questions, then your brand is not doing the heavy lifting that it needs to and it’s time to rebrand or refresh your brand.

If you’re ready for a rebrand or a refresh of your brand, B is for Bonnie Design is taking on a limited number of custom branding client projects this year! Head here to learn more about her brand services and inquire on the contact form!


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The Difference Between Rebranding and a Brand Refresh

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Hi, friends and welcome to the brand strategy podcast. A show created to equip you with the inspiration, encouragement, and clarity. You need to build the brand of your dreams. I’m your host, Bonnie Bakhtiari brand designer, strategist, and founder of the Illume Retreat from sustainable strategy to heartfelt encouragement. Each episode is designed to equip you with the tools you need to chase after your dreams, because you deserve a brand that empowers you to do what you love, connects with your dream clients and offers a deep sense of fulfillment along the way. So grab a cup of coffee and join me on this journey. Won’t you, Hey friends, welcome back to the brand strategy podcast, where today we are talking about the differences between a rebrand and a brand fresh.


So what to do when your brand needs some sprucing up and which option is going to be best for you. So if you are tuning in today and you are an entrepreneur who is feeling like there’s something about your brand, that’s just not quite clicking for you anymore. So maybe you feel like you have outgrown your brand. Maybe you’re seeing that your brand isn’t consistently generating the quality of inquiries that you want to be generating. Maybe you are feeling some growing pains because you are feeling the drive and the call, the kind of pull, if you will, to create a different type of service or to pivot and connect with a different type of audience, or to maybe walk away from your current service offerings and create something totally different. So many different scenarios, right, where we can feel like we’ve outgrown our current brands. And there are definitely some clear signs to look for about when it’s time to rebrand or when it’s time to go through a refresh and how to choose the path that’s best for you.


So as a brand designer and strategist who works with women entrepreneurs to craft elevated and strategic brands, that position you as the go-to expert, that your clients are searching for. I know a thing or two about how to execute, that kind of change and how to move in that direction of growth. And you’d actually be surprised. I get a ton of questions from people over the years who are tired of living with a brand that just doesn’t fit them any more. Uh, there are so many people who reach out because they’re, they’re curious, okay, Bonnie, what do I do? Because I don’t feel like my brand is doing that heavy lifting for me anymore. And I don’t feel like it’s generating quality inquiries or Bonnie I’m feeling really tired of my website and I want something new. What do I do? Um, honestly, you’d be amazed at how these are really common concepts.


You’re not alone if you are resonating with any of those, but there’s actually a different approach for, you know, whether you go in the direction of a complete revamp of your brand or a more strategic series, I guess, of edits or refinements. So let’s take a look today at what it means to rebrand versus to totally refresh your brand and how these two concepts can help you elevate your visual presence. So like I said, you might be feeling like your logo or your website or your print assets. Aren’t a great fit for you anymore. So maybe it’s not reflecting the amount of growth that you’ve experienced. Uh, maybe it’s feeling like it doesn’t reflect the expertise or the experience that you bring to the table. If you feel that your branding is a poor representation of your business or your services or your level of skill, then I really do think it is time for a change.


So the options you have, you can rebrand, or you can refresh your existing and brand. So oftentimes we go for the term rebrand without giving it a second thought when perhaps we don’t actually intend to completely overhaul our visual identity. So that would include your color palette, your font, pairings, your logo, all of those things. When someone is looking to rebrand, they intend to completely redesign their existing materials and actually start over from scratch. So a rebrand is often the better option for you. If you are feeling like your original logo was never actually a great fit for your business, or if you’re changing your focus and you’re moving in a new direction with your business. So if you’re wanting to completely pivot from your existing audience and speak to a totally different audience, if you’re wanting to switch from, let’s say being a product based business to be in a service-based business, or if you’re wanting to switch from doing high end done for you services to coaching or courses or education that going with a rebrand is probably going to be a better fit for you.


So a full rebrand actually involves creating completely new designs. And so it offers you a full blank slate for your business. Uh, this is something that we do very intentionally from a design and strategy standpoint, because if you already have a really large following, or if you have a very loyal fan base or you’ve built a lot of brand equity with your current visual assets, it can actually be confusing for your audience who are familiar with that existing visual identity for that switch to happen. So what we want to do there is we want to proactively educate your audience. We want to start to clue them in that like, okay, big things are happening. Some changes are on the horizon, let them know, okay, we are going through some big growth behind the scenes and we are making some changes to serve you better. And we’re so excited to do that.


So you can kind of tease the fact that maybe you’re going through that rebrand, that a redesign is happening and you can actually invite them to be a part of that process through your social media, through slack, some behind the scenes photos, or posting on your stories and kind of showing them and sharing with them, the evolution of your brand and how you’ve gone from point a point B. So a rebrand is going to be a great fit for you. If you need new visuals, if you need new designs, if you need fresh messaging, if you need to change your business name, for example. Um, so we’re rebrand, we’re making big moves and we’re making big changes and littlest staying the same. Sometimes, like I said, I’m in here to go. Sometimes you’re, you’re doing this because you’re changing your business name and that’s great.


You can absolutely do that. And you can also do that in a way where you don’t necessarily have to go out and start a completely different business. Especially like I said, if you’re going from say, offering a done for you service to a one to many type model, so you’re doing that through a mastermind or a group coaching program, or a, you know, kind of a self paced DIY program or something like that. You can still incorporate that under your existing brand umbrella, so to speak, but you want to be strategic about that because you want to carry over as many of your past clients as possible or not even past clients, but the people that are part of your audience who know you and associate you with that done for you service, you want to carry them over into this new season where you’re stepping away from the done for you.


And you’re maybe stepping away from the one-on-one. So lots of options. That’s only one scenario of many, many, many in which a rebrand is appropriate, but brand updates do not always have to be so dramatic. You don’t always have to be like, you know, speaking to a totally different audience or thinking about changing your name or anything like that. A brand refresh is a great option. If you want to make strategic updates here and there to reflect growth, or maybe a shift or more subtle shift in company focus, or you want to appeal to a more specific target market. So for example, with a rebrand, when we think about switching our audiences, we’re going from like one very specific person to a completely different type of person with a series of refreshes. What we might be doing is we might be going from a, you know, a more broad audience to a more niche down subset of that existing audience.


So you’re not having to go out and generate an entirely new audience or create a new ideal client base. You’re just refining, what’s already in place. So this idea of going through a refresh is actually a really great option for entrepreneurs who love their current brand, but think there could be some opportunities to grow or to elevate or to refine. So for our refresh, what we’re doing is we’re usually like updating colors. We’re maybe tweaking your logo. Maybe not like totally redesigning, but we’re, we’re definitely visioned up a little bit. And then we’re creating a new complimentary design. So maybe we’re creating a new website that enhance your visual brands, usability and its longevity. So a refresh enables a brand to remain current and easily identifiable to its existing fan base, but it still gives you that room to grow. And it still gives you the ability to reflect your growth and keep up with any current trends.


So although your audience, isn’t going to be like completely, like let’s say, um, in your brand refresh, you’re hiring someone to create a new website for you and you’re changing your color palette. So your let’s say your logo, your primary logo, that color is going from like red to pink. Okay. Not the biggest change in the world because the logo itself is staying the same, but the color changed, right? That’s probably something that we need to talk to your audience about when we need to educate them and share with them a little teeny glimpse of that rationale behind that fresh look. And anytime you are rebranding or you’re refreshing, this is something that I love sharing with my own custom design clients when we’re sitting down and we’re strategizing for their lunch, is we think about how can we make your audience feel like they’re a part of this journey with you, because if we think about it, and if you think about the brands that you feel connected to, you probably feel some sort of emotional or a relational connection to them.


And so you feel like when you see them grow or when you see them land a dream opportunity or launch a really cool collaboration, you are excited for them because you care in some way about that brand. But if they’ve kind of shown you like the behind the scenes of that collaboration process, or if they’ve shown you the behind the scenes of like planning for that dream project to happen, you’re so invested already because you’ve seen the ideation, you’ve seen the kind of like step-by-step and now you’re seeing the finished product. And it gives you a little bit of a sense of ownership too. Like you were kind of a part of this journey, like you’re a part of the insiders club, right? And who doesn’t love feeling that way. So as an entrepreneur, when you’re refreshing your brand or rebranding altogether, let your people know what’s happening and you don’t have to spill all the beans.


You don’t have to tell them like, Hey, we’re going through this big rebrand because we were not happy with the quality of inquiries we were getting. And we want to, you know, reach higher end clients or something like that. You don’t need to tell them that you, you, I want you to think about it in terms of how can I communicate this growth to my audience in a way where they clearly understand how this growth impacts them and how this growth serves them better. So with my own clients, I like to, you know, share with them, Hey, how can we put our heads together and think about some options where when we announce your launch, or when we start to tease that the launch is coming and we started building that excitement and that anticipation, how can we start to educate your audience about what’s coming, why it’s coming and why it matters to them.


So, a lot of the time I’m working with clients who are entering into a season of growth, where they’ve been experiencing a season of growth, and they’re stepping into a season where they’re wanting to work with couples and clients and customers at higher and higher and higher price points. And as a result, they’re delivering a really high touch level of service. So we’re creating these elevated strategic brands that empower them and give them the boost. They need to reach that point and connect with those people consistently. So what that often looks like is if a brand is going through that kind of upward motion, a lot of the time, uh, the messaging is going to be even more refined and it’s going to be even clearer and it’s going to be even more value packed. So, uh, you know, thinking about how maybe someone is going from, uh, talking about a lot of different things on their blog to speaking really clearly and confidently to one ideal client on their blog, that’s a great way to educate and, and really, you know, get your current audience excited about what’s coming by saying, Hey, if you’ve been a fan of these kinds of posts that we’ve done in the past, guess what you’re in for a treat we’re going to be pumping out so much more of that incredible content for you through our YouTube channel or our podcasts or our blog, or here on Instagram or wherever you like to spend your time.


So what you’re doing is you’re educating your potential clients about what’s coming next. So we’ve talked a little bit about rebrands. We’ve talked a little bit about brand refreshes. Uh, it’s important to have that distinction. It’s important to think about what that looks like for you and for your audience, so that you can choose the direction that serves you best. And I think that this is something that we don’t really pay enough attention to. Sometimes I think that sometimes at least in my experience with chatting with potential clients and even with some of my own clients, they didn’t quite realize that there was that opportunity for growth or, uh, that they needed to go through that amount of, of change to rebrand or refresh until they were like, whoa, we’ve really outgrown this brand. This website is not working for us anymore. We are not generating the kind of consistent business that we want to be.


You know, oftentimes it kind of sneaks up on you. So what I recommend doing, if you don’t already have this as a part of your process, I really recommend that you give yourself a consistent regular brand audit. And this is something you could do once a year. You could do this twice a year, at least once a year, um, sit down and just audit your own visuals and ask yourself, does my website still reflect the level of service and the level of expertise that I bring to the table does my logo, my business cards, my stationary, my client guides, any of those pieces, do they still reflect the level of service and expertise that I bring to the table? Do they still capture the attention of my ideal clients? You can go back the last six months or the last year, and you can take a look at all the inquiries you’ve received and look at them, look at, did I get a lot of inquiries?


And then they all ended up ghosting me or did I get a handful of inquiries? And the majority of them were from high quality clients, uh, early to actually turned into paying clients. Right? Think about, and look at the data. So right. We don’t want to be making these decisions based on, well, you know, I see that this type of design style is popular on Pinterest right now and my brand isn’t that style. So I feel like it’s time for a change. Instead, we want to look at the data of what is actually bringing dollars into your bank account. And that’s going to be your sales. That’s going to be your client projects or your product sales or your digital product sales. We want to be looking at those numbers. And if you’re seeing consistent income from ideal clients or ideal customers, something is still working for you.


But if you’re seeing inconsistent income or income that is generated from non-ideal clients or non-ideal customers. And so the actual process of delivering the work was not life-giving and it was a struggle and it was stressful. And you’re feeling kind of burnt out that tells me that there’s something in your branding. It could be your visuals, it could be your messaging, but there’s something there that could be doing more of that heavy lifting for you and could serve you so much better. So I really recommend building in that kind of audit into your brand and into your business as sort of an annual review, just so that this doesn’t sneak up on you. And so that you have the opportunity to pursue that growth. But if you have been tuning in today and you’ve been finding yourself like nodding along to some of these scenarios, I’ve been describing about, you know, when it’s time to rebrand or when it’s time to refresh and you are feeling like Bonnie, I am there, I am.


So there, I need the help and I want to move forward and connect with my ideal clients consistently with a brand that looks, feels, and sounds like me, then friend, I would love to walk alongside you in that journey. And I love to put our heads together to see how I could potentially serve you in that process. So I work with incredibly talented women entrepreneurs to craft elevated strategic brands, that position you as the go-to expert that your clients are searching for. And as a result, you’re able to pack your calendar with dreamy ideal client projects, you’re able to double or triple your starting price point. You’re able to have an impact through the work that you have doing. And a lot of times you can have a deeper impact while even working fewer hours each week or each month, so that you have more time for yourself, for your family and what matters.


And I’m really passionate about that because the work that you do has an impact and can change lives for the better, but also your business can change your life and your family’s life for the better. So if you’re looking for that kind of growth and you want to see how your brand can be a vehicle that helps you reach that destination, I would be so honored to chat with you. I am taking on a handful of custom branding client projects this year. And although my calendar is filling up quickly, I would love to chat with you to see if I could just point you in the direction that will serve you best. So if you want to get in touch, you can shoot me a message on Instagram at Bonnie Joy Marie, or you can head to my website. B is for Bonnie design.com to learn more about my branding services and to fill out the application on my contact page so that we can set up a complimentary consult call and we can chat more friend.


I so appreciate you tuning in to today’s episode. And I hope that whether you find yourself in an active season of growth, or you are just keeping this info in your back pocket for the future, that it was helpful, and that you’re walking away, feeling more clarity around how to tell when it’s time to rebrand and whether a rebrand or a refresh is a better option for you as always. If you learned something from today’s episode or, you know, an industry friend who could use this kind of, um, info and encouragement and support, please share this episode with them. I would so love to see that this is helping more and more entrepreneurs. And of course, I always appreciate your support and tuning in to the brand strategy podcast. I’m cheering you on from Waco friends. And I already


Cannot wait to chat with you again in next week’s episode. Thank you so much for joining me today, friend, before you go, I would be so grateful to receive your feedback on the Brand Strategy podcast. If you enjoyed this episode or the podcast in general has helped you grow your brand and really appreciate it. If you left us a review in iTunes, your positive reviews enable the brand strategy podcast to continue to grow and reach like-minded creatives. Just like you. Plus, I’ll be randomly selecting a handful of lucky reviewers each month to receive a little, thank you, surprise for me in the mail, thanking for all your support and encouragement as together. We pursue building brands with purpose and intention until next time and cheering you on from Waco.

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My name is Bonnie – I’m a brand designer, strategist, and writer which all adds up to one eclectic conglomeration of qualities that enables me to serve you well! Past clients have dubbed me "the Joanna Gaines of brand design," and I've had more than a few call me a dream maker, a game changer, and a design wizard (my Harry Potter-loving heart didn't hate that one, let me tell you!). At the end of the day, I'm a big-hearted creative who will get teary-eyed as you share the heart behind your business; who will lose sleep over the perfect font pairings and color selections to bring your brand to life visually; and who will work tirelessly to empower, encourage, and equip you to share your work with the world intentionally. 

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