Does Your Brand Need a Refresh? Here’s How You Can Tell If It’s Time

No business, even the most mundane, can truly flourish without a distinct brand — those special ingredients that define your brand’s look, feel, and personality. Your brand can be as simple as, well, you and your personal characteristics, talents, and presentation, if you’re a sole proprietorship, or as elaborate as a full suite of carefully-selected elements, including designated colors, fonts, logos, and taglines. But no matter how detailed your brand may be, every brand can benefit from the occasional refresh.

Updating your company’s or organization’s brand doesn’t have to entail a complete overhaul of the elements you already have in place — not everyone needs a full “rebranding.” We’ve all seen examples of rebranding gone wrong. Take the 2009 rebrand of the Sci Fi channel to “SyFy,” for instance. You know you have a rebrand fail on your hands when the move is actually ridiculed in an episode of Big Bang Theory! And do you remember the social media revolt when clothing retailer Gap changed its iconic logo in 2012 … apparently for no reason? (They changed it back six days later.)

Sometimes it’s best to leave well enough alone, especially if your brand is iconic, especially beloved, historic, or deeply meaningful. However, most brands can usually benefit from an update, if not a total rebranding effort.

But how do you know if your company’s brand is ready for a refresh? Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is your brand or logo up-to-date? There’s a fine line between nostalgic and out-of-date. A design trend that was popular in the early 2000s may look ridiculous and out-of-touch in 2024. Be sure your brand elements are staying current and relevant in the eyes of your target customers.
  2. Is it still relevant? If your brand was originally designed to appeal to a different demographic than who you’re serving today, maybe it’s time to change. Think about Stanley, for example; the sorority girls who carry these tumblers around today are quite different from the older outdoorsmen and construction workers who made the Stanley brand famous. Stanley has intentionally updated their brand to appeal to their new audience and their preferences.
  3. Is it still different and unique? Maybe back in the day your company was the very first to introduce a super cool conceptual logo or color scheme, but as with any good idea, it’s probably been imitated.  While that may be a form of flattery, it doesn’t help to have a unique identity that captures customers’ attention.
  4. Does it work on different platforms? Your brand elements — especially your logo — should be adaptable to today’s digital platforms and screen sizes. It should look as good on a phone screen as it does on a t-shirt. 
  5. Does it reflect your offerings or brand proposition? Imagine starting out as a fax machine repair shop; if you’re still in business, it means you’ve adapted to today’s business needs and now repair other types of office equipment. Your brand has to reflect what you do now, not what you don’t do anymore.
  6. Do people still notice it? When was the last time someone commented on the look and feel of your website, logo, colors, or tagline? Refreshing your brand can spark curiosity and generate buzz while attracting or re-engaging customers.
  7. Are your customers asking for it? Sometimes a brand can become so tired and outdated that your clients or customers actually wonder why you haven’t changed it. A brand refresh can  enhance consumer perception of a brand, signaling that the brand is innovative, responsive to feedback, and committed to staying relevant in the marketplace.

Overall, refreshing a brand is a strategic decision that should align with your company’s objectives, values, and long-term vision. It should be done thoughtfully and with consideration for your unique heritage and identity while also embracing opportunities for growth and evolution. However, if you answered “no” to questions one through six, or “yes” to the final question, it’s time to at least consider a brand refresh — and luckily, we know some folks who can help. Reach out to our team at Ad4! Group for a complimentary conversation about refreshing or rebranding. We’re happy to review your current brand elements and let you know what we would recommend.