Brand Refresh vs. Rebrand for Creative, Service-Based Entrepreneurs

June 13, 2023

Fellow creatives and service-based businesses, today’s topic is one that can breathe new life into your business… the distinction between a brand refresh vs. a rebrand! No doubt you’ve heard these terms thrown around in the creative online space for a while now. But what exactly do they mean, and how can you assess when it’s time for either option?

As our businesses evolve, it’s only natural to contemplate giving our brands a well-deserved facelift. However, it’s crucial to understand the nuances between a brand refresh and a rebrand, as they offer different opportunities and outcomes. So, let’s dive deeper into this enlightening journey together and discover how these strategies can elevate your creative, service-based business.

Learn More About a Brand Refresh

A brand refresh, as the name suggests, involves revitalizing your existing brand while preserving its core essence. It’s like hitting the refresh button, allowing you to enhance and refine elements that have become stagnant or outdated. As a brand strategist and designer with over 11 years in this industry, I recommend brand refreshes to my clients who already have an effective brand strategy in place but who need some thoughtful elevation of their logo, website, or other visual assets.

As part of a brand refresh, here are some things we might cover:

Refining Your Visual Identity

A brand refresh often begins with a fresh take on your visual identity. It’s an opportunity to fine-tune your logo, color palette, typography, and other design elements to align with your evolving aesthetic and current market trends. By making subtle adjustments, you can modernize your brand without losing its recognition or causing confusion amongst your established audience.

Polishing Your Brand Messaging

Brand messaging is the soul of your business. During a brand refresh, we’ll want to take a closer look at your mission, values, and target audience. Refine your messaging to reflect your growth, address changing client or customer needs, and ensure it resonates with your incredible ideal clients.

Updating Your Online Presence

In this digital age, your online presence plays a vital role in attracting and engaging clients. A brand refresh offers an excellent opportunity to update your website, social media profiles, and other digital platforms. Incorporate new visual elements and refine your content strategy to create a cohesive and compelling online experience.

Learn More about Rebranding

Unlike a brand refresh, a rebrand involves a more comprehensive transformation of your business’s identity. It’s an opportunity to redefine your brand’s positioning, personality, and target market. I recommend a full rebrand to clients who are pivoting to reach new audiences or higher end clients; who are stepping into new offerings and making big moves to their core services; or, I recommend this option to those who no longer feeling aligned with their brands, the clients they’re attracting, or the prices they’re charging.

Let’s take a closer look at the key aspects of a rebrand:

Realigning Your Brand Strategy

When considering a rebrand, it’s crucial to assess your current brand strategy and explore new options. When I partner with my clients through an intentional rebrand, we dive deep into market research in order to better understand who your ideal clients are and what they need from you. We then use these insights to shape a brand strategy that positions your business for long-term success with longevity in mind.

Redefining Your Visual Identity

A rebrand almost always involves a significant visual overhaul, including a new logo, color color, typography, and overall design system. The aim is to create a fresh, distinctive look that sets your business apart and attracts your dreamy ideal clients with intention!

Reinventing Your Brand Voice

Through a rebrand, we’ll also turn our attention to your brand voice. Your brand voice encompasses the tone, language, and personality you use to communicate. During a rebrand, we reassess your brand voice to ensure it aligns with your new positioning and target market. From there, we craft a voice that resonates with your ideal clients and sets the stage for meaningful connections.

Leaving No Details Untouched

A successful rebrand requires careful planning and execution. As part of a rebrand, you want to develop a detailed launch strategy that includes updating all touchpoints, both online and offline, that will ensure a consistent brand experience. This includes your website, social media platforms, marketing collateral, and even brick and mortar locations if you have them!

Planning for Success

As creative, service-based entrepreneurs, our brands are extensions of our vision, values and passions. Whether you choose a brand refresh or a rebrand, both strategies offer so many thoughtful opportunities for so much growth and potential!

If you’re looking for even more insight into which option is the best fit for your current season of business, be sure to check out this episode of the podcast where I shared some prompts and specific questions you can consider to figure out your next steps when it comes to a brand refresh vs. rebrand.

If you’re ready to take your service-based business to heartfelt new heights through a brand refresh or a complete rebrand, I’d love to help! I’m currently accepting new branding projects, and it would be a joy to support you as, together, we craft an elevated, strategic brand and website that positions you as the pro you are.

Head here to get in touch!

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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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