Things to Consider When Rebranding a Small Business

Have you ever considered refreshing your brand? It could be something as simple as updating your packaging or logo, or it could be a bigger change, like changing your brand colors or your product’s name. 

That’s where a brand refresh or a rebrand comes in. 

But why would someone want to make changes to an already existing brand? 

Updating a brand is like giving a mini-makeover to make it feel new and exciting again. You can update the logo, tweak the packaging, or change up the messaging to make it more modern and appealing for your audience. Basically, it’s all about keeping things current and showing customers that a product or brand is still relevant and worth checking out. 

Here are key things to consider when rebranding a small business and how to know whether a rebrand is the right step for you!

A young woman sitting on the floor working on her laptop at home with a cute golden retriever dog laying besides her.

Refresh vs Rebrand

Before investing in rebranding a small business, you must decide if a full rebrand is your best option. After all, rebranding involves a significant investment of time and money. A more simple refresh of your current brand may be better at this time. 

To help you make an educated decision, let’s break down the difference: 

What is a Brand Refresh? 

A refresh is a subtle update to your brand’s identity. The goal is to give your brand a fresh look and feel while maintaining the brand’s core personality. There are several reasons a brand may feel it is necessary to take this step, including: 

  • Keeping the brand fresh in an ever-growing and evolving market
  • Ensuring the brand’s messaging reflects its current target market
  • Clarifying messaging and ensuring it is consistent across all marketing channels
  • Highlighting the strengths of the brand in the most impactful way 

What is Changed During a Brand Refresh? 

If you are carrying out a brand refresh, you are making minor changes to your brand and marketing efforts. This may include tweaks to your logo, brand colors, typography, or messaging. 

Consider it like a mini glow-up. Changes are made, but the original vision of the brand is still there. Occasionally, brand refreshes are so subtle that the customer doesn’t even notice anything has changed. Other times, the changes are noticeable, but they don’t take away from the branding your customer has come to recognize. 

What is a Rebrand?

A rebrand involves an overhaul of the brand’s identity. This is a much more extensive change, impacting every aspect of your brand image. You should consider a rebrand if you are looking for a new brand identity with the intention of meeting one of the following goals: 

  • Taking the brand in a new direction 
  • Reaching and connecting with a new target audience 
  • Communicating new or significantly evolved brand values 

What is Changed During a Small Business Rebrand? 

A rebrand is a much more invasive process that includes changes to the brand’s core messaging, strategy, mission, values, and overall persona. 

If a brand refresh is a mini glow-up, a rebrand would be considered a complete makeover. There may be a recognizable nod to the original brand, but not always. The final product may look completely different and unrecognizable from the original brand, and that is okay!

Graphic with a table of information comparing when to do a Brand Refresh vs Rebrand.

Brand Refresh:
What is it? A subtle update to your brand's image.
Why do it? To give a fresh look or feeling while maintaining it's core personality.
What will be updated? Minor tweaks to your logo, colors, typography, or messaging.

What is it? An overhaul of your brand's identity.
What do it? To reflect a new direction, target audience, and values.
What will be updated? Changes to the brand name, logo, visual identity, messaging, and positioning.

Deciding Between Refreshing or Rebranding Your Small Business?

If you want to modernize your brand and keep it relevant without completely changing its identity, then a refresh is for you. The goal of a refresh is typically to create a new look and feel while maintaining a brand’s core identity. For example, you might consider a refresh when you want to update your brand fonts, logo and colors to appeal to a wider audience or make slight adjustments to your messaging to reflect current industry trends. 

On the other hand, you might consider a rebrand to update your brand’s image and appeal to a new audience. While this could include the same things as a refresh, like updating your logo and colors, you would also update the messaging, values, mission statement or even the brand name.

To summarize, a refresh may be more appropriate if your strategy, mission and values remain the same and you are only interested in updating your brand’s visual identity. If your main goal is to create a completely different and new brand identity, then a rebrand will better serve your long-term goals. Both can reinvigorate interest in your brand and attract new customers.

Things to Consider When Rebranding or Refreshing

Now that you have considered which option is better suited for your brand’s current needs, let’s look at how to refresh or rebrand a small business. There are several things you want to consider before you drive into the process. 

The questions below will refer to the rebranding process, but the questions are also applicable to a refresh.

  • Why are you considering a rebrand? Determine what you’re hoping to achieve with these new changes. Are you trying to attract new customers, update your image, or do something else?
  • What’s happening in your industry? Look at what new developments have been rolling out within your industry, including what your competitors are up to. This research can help you make sure your rebrand is on point
  • How much does it cost to rebrand a small business? This can be a costly investment, so make sure you have the budget to cover everything from design to marketing. In theory, a rebrand would be more expensive because you are typically receiving more assets and the process is much more extensive.
  • How long will a rebrand take? Rebranding takes time, so make sure you’re giving yourself enough to get everything done right. When working with an agency, they may provide you with their own timeline for ideation, creation, and delivery, but you also want to consider the timeline for implementing your new brand once all of the assets are complete and delivered.
  • What is your brand identity? Think about what makes your brand unique and how you can bring that out in your rebrand. While you may be making changes to better reach your target market or to adapt to a changing market, you don’t want to lose your brand identity. 
  • How will you roll out the new branding? Make a plan for how you’ll tell people about your new brand, including everything from a new website to social media posts.
  • Are there any legal considerations that could impact your branding decisions? Make sure your new brand does not infringe on anyone else’s trademarks or copyrights.
  • Are your employees invested in the change? If you have employees, they can be your biggest brand advocates, so make sure they’re on board with your rebrand. They are also the closest people working with your brand, so you want to make sure that you hear their thoughts and ideas on what the brand should be.
  • Are YOU prepared to execute your rebrand? Whether you have employees or you are working alone, make sure that you allocate time to change all of your brand assets and delegate who will be in charge of what and when. A plan of action will help ease the transition both behind the scenes and for your customers.

Final Thoughts on Rebranding a Small Business

A refresh or a rebrand can change things up and help differentiate your brand from competitors. Overall, a new look and feel, when executed properly, can breathe new life into your brand, attract new customers, and reignite interest in existing ones. 

Whether you have been in business for a while and are looking to freshen up your image or you are making a significant change to your brand’s mission or purpose, this is an exciting step that can propel your business forward if done correctly! 

Is there a rebrand or refresh that you felt was incredibly well done? Share your favorites in the comments to help inspire those considering taking this step!

About the Author: Christy Castillo has worked in the pet industry for 7+ years helping brands with graphic design, branding, video editing and cinematography. When she’s not working or studying she’s exploring the beach and filming videos of her dogs. You can follow her adventures on Insta @hounds.around. Read more…

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