Big Rebrand Versus Small Brand Refresh: A Look at Two Brands
by Debra Harrsch
If you’re thinking it may be time to revisit your visual branding, there are two ways to approach your update. You may only want to do a brand refresh or you may need a complete rebranding.
But, what do these terms actually mean?
The complete rebranding of a company is a large-scale project. It includes an entire overhaul of all the elements of your brand identity – your logo, tagline and potentially even your company name. Most often a full rebrand occurs when a company has changed significantly – for example, perhaps they’ve expanded services or gone through an acquisition or merger. A full rebrand typically pays homage to an old logo while delivering new branding aligned with the company vision that will take them into the future.
A brand refresh is a smaller-scale project. You might think of a refresh as a facelift. In these cases, the company has an existing identity and tagline that still fits the company and its vision, but needs modernizing. Brand refreshes usually consist of new font selections, color palette expansion or updates, and visual design tweaks to stationary, collateral, and digital assets.
Whether you choose to rebrand or refresh your brand, the strategy and the creative process remain the same (we discussed the creative process for re-branding last month here).
Two Brands: What to Expect When Rebranding or Refreshing a Brand
The LGM Pharma Rebrand
LGM Pharma is a client for whom we recently completed a full rebrand with a new creative platform. The drug intermediate and API sourcing company had expanded dramatically through acquisition, adding contract development and manufacturing capabilities. Their change in service capabilities and company vision meant that a full rebranding was in order.
In LGM’s case, while their name remained the same, they needed a new tagline because their offerings had changed. In addition, they went through a full messaging platform exercise and development to match their “new” brand. After the logo and tagline rebrand process, we began developing the core assets the company needed to launch a new brand. When we do this, we break the project into a couple of buckets. The first bucket includes all corporate communication materials – the stationary suite which is comprised of letterhead, envelopes, business cards, email signatures, and PowerPoint templates.
The next bucket is all of the marketing tools. This bucket is more in-depth, covering everything from collateral like case studies, white papers, product sell sheets, brochures and trade show booths to digital assets such as email templates, landing page designs, icons, the photo library, and the website. The website is a huge critical component of a full rebranding.
When your company implements a new creative brand platform everything changes and that change needs to be driven across your company at the same time. This is not a project for the faint of heart. It is an immense undertaking, and it means digging out every single asset and changing each and every one of them. This is the time to make sure your collateral and content match the updated messaging, tone, and value proposition of your “new” brand. It’s also an excellent way to review all of your content – giving you the opportunity to decide what to keep and what to update.
The Brandwidth Solutions Brand Refresh
There were two main visual reasons we decided we needed to refresh our own brand. The first was our tagline. We knew it worked. We knew that when our market saw it they immediately understood what we can do for them. We had trademarked it, but it wasn’t integrated into our brand. The second reason that drove us to refresh our brand was our services graphic. There simply weren’t enough spaces to cover everything we provide anymore. Overall, our brand was solid – the logo and the colors still worked for us, but the logo type wasn’t aging well.
Even though we’ve worked together for years, we decided to put ourselves through the same creative process we take our clients through. Everyone was involved in the discovery process to refocus on who we are, what we are, and where we are going. The process is important – whether you do a refresh or a rebrand.
During a brand refresh, we work with some of the pieces that already exist and eliminate those that don’t fit in anymore. Then we go to work refining and reshaping those pieces – essentially giving the brand a facelift.
For Brandwidth Solutions we knew that much of what we had was going to remain. The logo, the color palette, the tagline, and name all stayed. We refreshed the logo with new typography, and changed the scale and relationship between the company name and the mark. We also chose a new color and typeface for the tagline.
These refinements to the brand meant a fresh new look for all of our key communication tools – from our stationary, proposal covers, and PowerPoint presentation templates to our business cards and blog masthead. Typically, a smaller scale brand refresh also means a reskinning of the website. This is when the new visual brand platform is applied to a current website without changing architecture or rewriting the content. In our case, we’ve chosen to reskin our site for the short-term while working on a larger website revamp to roll out later in the year.
Whether you choose a small refresh or a rebrand, all of your communications materials must change. Everything from the most basic email signature to your website gets a new breath of life when it is updated with your new branding.
Need a brand refresh? Or a completely new creative brand platform? Give us a call to talk through how we can help you bring your company into the future.
Brandwidth Solutions serves the healthcare, life sciences, technology, and contract pharma industries. We work with companies that want to make the most of their marketing – who want their marketing empowered to help drive leads – and ultimately sales. If you want to move your product or service forward in a smart way, we want to work with you. Call us at 215.997.8575.