How Often Should You Refresh Your Brand?



By Amanda Bowen, Director of Business Development at The Content Funnel

You're tired of the logo. The brand values don't reflect your company anymore. You have a new, exciting chief marketing officer raring to make their stamp by overhauling the brand look. Whatever the reason, you’re considering a major brand update.

Here's the thing: branding is something built over time. The longer your company is around, and the more it grows, the more people learn to associate your looks with the values and services. While your new executive team might want to put their own special polish on the brand's style, it takes courage to stick with what's there.

There are occasions when the right decision is to update the brand. When exactly are these times?

#1. Big company changes

Major changes include mergers, acquisition, new management, restructuring, or moving. Changing your brand signals to the clientele the brand is improving. Be careful not to go too drastic with style and value changes. The exception here is with any company renaming, where it’s better to build some distance.

#2. A dated style

Sometimes brand looks are so dated it’s not resonating with your target audience, it might be time for an update. If your existing branding guidelines are from the early 2000s, definitely give it new life! Bring things in line with current trends. Classic styles never fade, but even Coca-Cola and Starbucks have tweaked their looks over time to match contemporary trends.

#3. Seasonal updates

Trends come and go, but some are worthy of riding. When you acknowledge something like a holiday, keep it in line with your current branding guidelines. Be wary of completely changing your website just for a seasonal campaign or trendy movement.

#4. The wrong message

Regularly survey your target customers about their perceptions of your brand. If their responses do not reflect your company values, it's definitely time to change the brand.  Along the way, explore why customers have different opinions about your business.

#5. Escape negativity

When an incident damages the brand reputation, rebranding could breathe new life into your business. We know of a local youth sports team rocked by a cheating scandal at a state championship. They were unable to handle the crisis efficiently, resulting in continued negative feelings in their community. A new brand identity was the only way to separate themselves from the past.

#6. Is it just one thing?

Before you redo the new brand completely, ask if it's just one asset that needs an overhaul. You don't need to start from scratch and lose your social capital if an updated website with better navigation will work wonders. Even with this update, most of the existing branding style guide elements will work to keep continuity between the old website and the new.

The key to deciding to overhaul your brand this: “will it enhance your messaging without losing the work you have already done?” Answer yes, and it may be the right time to overhaul the brand.


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Lauren LealComment