5 Reasons Why Your Company Should Consider a Brand Refresh


What famous brands in the photo have recently undergone a brand refresh? Read below to get the answers!

When you think about companies with strong brands, what companies come to mind?

Apple. Google. Yahoo. Pepsi.

These companies have tremendous brand equity that will likely last longer before needing a complete brand refresh. However, even well-known, global companies need to consider the possibility of refreshing, or completely changing, their brands once a year.

In my role as the head of RP’s creative services, I have guided many clients through the creation or revitalization of their brands. While there is no clear guide for when a brand update is needed, here are five reasons to consider refreshing your company’s brand:

  1. The vision of your company has changed
    As your company’s industry changes, as all industries do, the vision for your company has changed, too. In which case, your brand should not be an afterthought. You need to carefully consider how your brand should evolve to better reflect this new vision.
  2. You need to simplify your brand
    Is it possible that your brand is too complicated? Do people say your company name incorrectly? Is the name of your company so long that customers are shortening it? Do you have multiple divisions that each have a separate logo? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it might be time for a simplified brand.
  3. You’d like to change current business cycles
    Maybe your competitors are attracting more of the top talent than your company or maybe your company isn’t winning bids the way it did in the past. When, as Forbes notes, business-to-business decision makers consider the brand to be the central element of a supplier’s value proposition, it is vital that your brand refresh breaks the negative cycle you may be in.
  4. You desire greater stakeholder engagement
    A strong brand that conveys your purpose will truly engage and inspire brand ambassadorship. In fact, according to a Harvard Business Review article, more than 60 percent of consumers surveyed cited ‘shared values’ as the primary reason for their relationships with brands. With that in mind, be sure to involve your key stakeholders as much as possible in your rebranding efforts.
  5. Your company has experienced a major controversy
    Often companies will look to refresh their brands after a controversy such as being delisted from NASDAQ, losing a high-profile lawsuit or inappropriate executive behavior. Be sure that your update is going to improve public perception of your company, as well as its bottom line.

When and if you’ve decided a rebrand is in order, what can you expect from the process when working with a creative agency? The timeline for a brand update can vary from two to six months and it is critically important to begin with research. You need to understand where your company stands in the marketplace and clearly note what makes you different than your competitors. Research should also include focus groups, one-on-one conversations and surveys with your key audiences, when possible.

Once you complete your research, you’ll have a clear direction for what you want your brand to evoke and can work with a design team to bring that vision to life through color, font, shape, etc. Our creative team at RP always likes to give clients new logos in black and white first to elicit a response without the bias of color. Then, once the logo is finalized, we create a unique color palette and graphic standards, because color increases brand recognition by up to 80 percent.

The final step, is creating and implementing a proper communications plan. We recommend developing a comprehensive plan that clearly explains the rebrand, what it means to key stakeholders (including your employees!) and how it reflects your company’s mission and values.

Kudos to all those who guessed that the companies listed as strong brands above had recently updated their brands from the image at the top of the article! We are guessing we fooled a few of you, but certainly not everyone.