Navigating the Decision: Rebrand or Refresh?

3 Minute Read
Creatives reviewing colors, fonts, and styles for a rebrand process.

Navigating the Decision: Rebrand or Refresh?

3 Minute Read

Have you been thinking your organization needs a bit of a makeover and don’t know where to start? When it comes to branding work, we know it can be challenging. The decision to undertake a rebranding or refreshing initiative warrants massive consideration. 

When wanting to change something in your brand, you may think it’s an entire “rebrand.” Luckily, it might be more of a brand refresh

So, what’s the difference, and how do you know which one is right for your business? This blog post aims to help you understand the key differences between rebrands vs refreshes.

What is a rebrand?

Rebranding is more than giving your organization a fresh coat of paint; it is resetting the foundation. It’s all about shaking things up in the organization by crafting a whole new image from the inside out—think of new names, symbols, or core identities for your brand to help reach new audiences, increase revenue, and prepare for expansion.

Here are several things that are involved in a rebrand: 

  • Brand Goals and business goal alignment 
  • Visual Identity 
  • Value proposition 
  • Vision/Mission 
  • Brand Positioning 
  • Brand Language 
  • Brand Manifesto 
  • Brand Archetype 
  • Name 

Benefits of a Rebrand: 

  • Repositioning your organization in the market. 
  • Reaching new donors and audiences who may have previously overlooked your organization.
  • Defining the true essence and meaning of your brand.
  • Creating new, engaging visual expressions of your brand to captivate audiences with fresh imagery and design elements.
  • Fostering internal cohesion and alignment, rallying your team around a unified vision and revitalized brand identity.
  • Differentiating your organization from competitors and standing out in a crowded marketplace.
  • Enhancing brand consistency across all touchpoints, from digital platforms to print materials, for a cohesive brand experience.

It’s time for a rebrand when: 

  • The organization’s branding is outdated to the current market 
  • The core brand values don’t align with the current company and target market 
  • There’s a massive need for updating or creating brand guidelines for the organization 
  • The visual identity isn’t resonating or providing a competitive edge. 
Visuals from the branding process with End Poverty in California, including logo, brand language, visual aesthetics, and web.

What is a brand refresh? 

A brand refresh represents a strategic endeavor aimed at maintaining alignment within your organization. The notion of a “refresh” may suggest a minor adjustment, but in reality, it encompasses a comprehensive reassessment of the brand’s visual and verbal communication strategies.

However, a refresh is not meant to solve a weak brand core, fundamental beliefs, or poor brand architecture. Think of it as more of a facelift! 

Here are several things that are involved in a brand refresh: 

  • Logo Color palette 
  • Font 
  • Writing style 
  • Minor alignments and modifications 
  • The tone of voice assessment and alignment

Now, let’s determine whether your objective is to undergo a rebrand or to refine your existing identity.

Benefits of a Brand Refresh: 

  • Strengthening brand recognition by refreshing outdated or inconsistent brand elements.
  • Realign brand messaging to help marketing and sales efforts 
  • Establish or redefine brand guidelines for the internal team use
  • Audit brand consistency across all touchpoints and make adjustments to create a strong brand experience 
Visuals from the rebrand and renaming of Digitunity, including logo, color palette, brand expressions, and brand guide.

It’s time for a refresh when: 

  • Want to align current messaging while keeping core identity 
  • Would like to give visual identity a lift 
  • Need an audit on the overall brand

It is crucial to acknowledge that your organization’s fundamental essence remains unaltered regardless of whether you opt for a bold rebrand or a subtle refresh.

Curious if you need a rebrand or a refresh? Reach Out


There’s a crucial distinction between a rebrand and a refresh, each with its implications and outcomes. A rebrand involves significant changes, while a refresh focuses on updating existing elements. 

By grasping these distinctions and aligning them with your goals, you can make a confident decision to enhance your brand effectively.  Need a little help in the branding department? Check out another one of our blog posts, The Art of Nonprofit Branding: 3 Examples and Best Practices, or explore our nonprofit branding services

Already know you want to work with us? Contact us today. 

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