Marketing / Branding

How often should you refresh your brand?

Laura Dolan

Updated: Jul 31, 2020 · 5 min read

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refresh your brand

If you’re asking yourself if it’s time to refresh your brand, then you may have just answered your own question. How long has it been since you revamped your website or updated your logo?

Refreshing your brand is the same as buying a new outfit or getting a new hairstyle, you’re changing things up, but staying true to the essence of what’s inside the business. Keeping things fresh and implementing little improvements here and there will show your customers how devoted you are to your brand instead of letting things go stale and staying stuck in your ways.

The objective to refreshing your brand involves capturing the attention of your customers to the point where they’d want to investigate to see what’s new.

After making a big change

Companies that change ownership or make a significant acquisition can reflect that change with a subtle redesign to the business’ logo, adding some new products or enhancing some old ones.

Another good opportunity for a rebrand is if the location of the company's headquarters is changed. As you change your company’s address on your website, business cards, letterheads, and payroll information, you might as well update your brand’s design while you’re refreshing everything else so only one printing job is needed. This also applies to any merchandise you have with your logo. Do a complete overhaul of the company for a fresh identity and outlook. Changing your wardrobe or getting a makeover does wonders for your image, so why not give your business the same treatment?

Running a seasonal ad campaign

Another fun time to update your brand is during the holidays or a special event. Google’s landing page tends to have a lot of fun with this as it switches their company logo to reflect a significant person’s birthday or the first day of a new season. It definitely grabs the attention of the audience and creates anticipation for the next time they do something interesting to commemorate a certain event or holiday.

If your company decides to run an ad campaign, you’ll want to ensure you’re updating all of your business materials to reflect the change including your website, social media avatar, digital newsletter banner, wherever your company brand shows up. Consistency is essential; if you miss something, it’ll exude negligence.

Another thing you want to avoid is changing your brand too often. Google gets away with this because it’s ubiquitous, and the company knows it. People use Google every day, so seeing its logo transformed once in a while doesn’t take away from the company’s mission or branding. If you change your branding too often, it will lose its familiarity.

Any seasonal ad campaign that you run should still resemble your overall brand. But this is also where you can have fun with it by adding some pumpkins to your logo during the fall, or holly for the holidays or hearts during Valentine’s Day, all while staying true to your art style, typefaces, color schemes, and content. Employing these temporary, subtle elements allows you to mix things up and enhance your products while avoiding the risk of damaging your brand’s image.

Growing with the times

While it is endearing for some brands to exhibit a retro theme, it’s not always conducive for everyone. Do inventory of your brand. Is your website up to date and reflecting updated technology such as responsive design? Does your logo look like it’s something out of the 1980s with a really outdated color scheme? Are you offering products that are obsolete or expendable?

Gradually improving your logo or color scheme takes patience, but it’s a smarter way to go. It’s worked for Taco Bell. It has definitely switched its color scheme over the years. So has Burger King. If you harken back to how their respective logos looked over time, you will get a sense of how their marketing teams made subtle improvements to ensure freshness, while staying true to their overall image.

Take some time to gauge whether your logo and products are keeping up with the latest trends in the marketplace. If you see a design flaw anywhere, this is a great time to do an overhaul, being mindful of your budget. Just for the record, if you’re noticing a design flaw, chances are your customers have noticed it already. They can tell which companies are keeping up with certain movements and which aren’t.

Going forward, pay attention to trends in your industry so you can make timely changes and not fall behind. A company that looks like it’s playing catch-up could be perceived as desperate and is only making changes for the sake of making changes and not doing it for the good of the product or appealing to its customers.

Updating signage

Companies that have prominent signs in strategic locations, including billboards, can update their look by employing advances in technology. For example, some billboards are illuminated with LEDs that have the ability to rotate imagery with dynamic content. Put your company on display post rebrand in a high traffic area that is sure to get your changes noticed.

Another way to employ dynamic content is to update your patrons on wait times in an ER waiting room or lines for security at airports, for example.

Dynamic content can also be applied to websites, rotating fresh content in the way of a carousel at the top of your landing page. Having some form of animation on your sign or your website is sure to draw attention.

When you don’t need a reason

Sometimes you just need to gauge how much time has actually gone by since your company’s most recent revamp. Does your company profile reflect who still actually works there? Are you thinking you need to add more items to your product lineup? Follow the lead of some of the bigger brands and pay attention to how often they update and what they do to generate even more leads by doing so.

It takes a lot of money and research to make a rebrand happen, this change doesn’t occur overnight. If this is something your business decides to implement, it’s a big commitment and will affect every aspect of your company and could take months before you’re ready to emerge with a relaunch. Every department needs to be on the same page with reflecting how the new branding is going to look, ensuring consistency and stability.

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