Brand Refresh vs. Rebranding: How to Decide Which is Right for Your Business[VIDEO]

By Katie Wilder |  Aug 3, 2023 (5 min read)

Branding | Design | Marketing

In today’s competitive business landscape, maintaining a strong brand is crucial for success. As your business evolves, you may find yourself considering a brand refresh or a complete rebranding. Both options can positively impact your business, but how do you decide which one is right for your unique needs? In this article, we’ll explore the differences between a brand refresh and rebranding, as well as the factors you should consider when making your decision.

Before we dive into the decision-making process, let’s define the two concepts.

Brand Refresh

A brand refresh is a lighter, more superficial makeover of your existing brand. It involves updating elements such as your logo, color scheme, typography, and visual identity to align with current trends and maintain a fresh, modern appearance. The core values, mission, and target audience of your business remain unchanged.


Rebranding is a more comprehensive and strategic change in your brand’s direction. It involves redefining your business’s core values, mission, target audience, and sometimes even your company name. Rebranding is typically done when there is a significant shift in your business, such as a merger, a change in leadership, or a desire to reach a new target audience.

To help you make the best decision for your business, consider the following factors:

  • Company growth and evolution: If your business has experienced significant growth or changes in its offerings, a rebrand may be necessary to accurately represent your new direction. If, however, your growth is more gradual, and your core values and target audience remain the same, a brand refresh may suffice.
  • Market changes: If your industry or target market has evolved, and you find that your current brand no longer resonates with your audience, a rebrand may be required. On the other hand, if the changes in the market are more subtle, a brand refresh can help you stay relevant without drastically altering your brand identity.
  • Competitor landscape: Keep an eye on your competitors and assess how your brand stacks up against them. If your brand is falling behind or no longer stands out, a rebrand may be necessary to reposition your business in the market. However, if your brand is still strong but could use a little polishing, a refresh should meet your needs.
  • Customer perception: Gather feedback from your customers to understand their perception of your brand. If they’re confused or have misconceptions about your business, a rebrand can help clarify your message and improve customer understanding. If the feedback is generally positive but suggests minor improvements, a brand refresh is likely the better option.
  • Budget and resources: A full rebrand can be expensive and time-consuming, requiring significant resources and a long-term commitment. If your business has the budget and resources for a rebrand and it aligns with your strategic goals, it may be the right choice. If not, a brand refresh can be a more cost-effective way to give your brand a facelift.

Case Study

To give you some inspiration, let’s take a look at how well-known men’s grooming brand, Old Spice, leveraged a 107% increase in sales from their rebrand.  Before their rebrand, Old Spice was perceived as an outdated brand, primarily associated with older generations. They decided to revitalize their image and appeal to a younger audience by launching the “Smell Like a Man, Man” campaign featuring the “Old Spice Guy,” Isaiah Mustafa, who quickly became a viral sensation.

Their rebranding effort included:

  • New packaging design: Old Spice updated their packaging to appear more modern and appealing to a younger audience, aligning with their new brand identity. A few key elements included modern typography, a simple and clean design, and the use of bold colors.
  • Updated product line: They expanded their product offerings to include body wash, deodorant, and other grooming products.
  • Innovative advertising: The viral “Smell Like a Man, Man” commercials and subsequent social media campaign transformed the brand’s image and attracted a new generation of customers, often utilizing humor, bold visuals, and memorable taglines to appeal to this younger demographic.

The impact on Old Spice’s revenue and brand perception was remarkable. According to an article by Fast Company, within six months of the campaign’s launch, Old Spice body wash sales had increased by 107%!  The Old Spice rebrand demonstrates the power of a well-executed rebranding strategy, which not only helped revitalize an outdated brand but also increased its revenue and market share significantly.

Wrapping Up

Deciding between a brand refresh and full rebrand is a critical decision that can significantly impact your business’s success. By carefully considering your company’s growth, market changes, competitive landscape, customer perception, and available resources, you can make an informed decision that best supports your long-term goals. Whichever path you choose, partnering with a digital marketing agency can provide valuable expertise and support to ensure a successful brand transformation.

Every Brand Has a Story to Tell.

Let us help you tell it.
Free Consultation