Why A Brand & Website Refresh Is Good For Your Small Business in 2023
When it feels like your brand and website are getting a little old and outdated, a refresh is a great way to reconnect with your audience in 2023.
Tastes change. People move on. New innovations come along. Whichever industry you’re in, whether your small business is online, in-person, or both, giving your brand and website a makeover can help you kickstart a new chapter whilst keeping true to your roots.
What is a brand refresh?
A brand refresh is a strategic update to a company’s visual identity and messaging. For many small businesses, it’s a way to stay relevant to their target audience and keep up with the latest trends in their industry.
On one level, brand identity signals a company’s relevance and position in the market. If their competitors all have fresh new looks, then theirs will look increasingly outdated by comparison. To keep the competitive edge, it’s important to periodically refresh the brand.
Refreshing your brand is the perfect way to assess and adjust your brand’s visual identity and voice across various touchpoints with customers. It’s a way of re-aligning how you’re perceived to ensure you maintain the right resonance with your target audience.
To maintain a lasting connection with your audience, your visual identity and messaging needs to grow with them. It’s important to evolve your brand’s look and feel to avoid stagnation, and signal a marked change in direction, vision, or growth.
Rebranding versus brand refresh
If a brand refresh is about the evolution of a brand, then rebranding is all about revolution. With a refresh, your brand slowly evolves; with rebranding, you rip up the brand rulebook and start again.
When a company undergoes rebranding, they significantly change the look and feel of their brand’s identity. Rebranding requires a deep dive into the organization, getting right under the hood to overhaul the company and its positioning, mission, vision, and values.
Watch this short video for a simple explanation of the differences between refreshing and rebranding by Col, from Rock Your Brand.
Rebranding is generally done for one of two reasons:
- Firstly, when a company makes a proactive choice to rebrand, they typically do so in conjunction with a planned change in direction, to engage with a new or wider audience, and set a new strategic path.
- Secondly, when businesses take a reactive choice to rebrand, they usually do so to distance the company from negative perceptions or to differentiate it from competitors who may be gaining the competitive edge.
In contrast, the reason for a brand refresh is usually to modernize existing visual elements, like the company logo, website, brand fonts, colour palette, icons, and imagery. For many small businesses, it can be difficult to decide whether the time is right to refresh and also how to go about doing it. Bringing in a brand consulting specialist is always a good place to start.
Need help with your decision-making around refreshing your brand? You might be interested in our blog post about knowing the right time for a brand refresh.
What should a brand refresh include?
An effective brand refresh runs deeper than simply polishing your visuals. For it to make an impact, it needs to be aligned with your wider vision, mission, and core values.
At the same time, you need to ensure that it matches with your customer and employees’ experience of your brand. There’s little point pretending your business is something it’s not. It might be your company brand, but it’s the people who choose to do business with it, and the people who work for it that truly own it.
For that reason, a brand refresh is likely to include:
- A brand audit: A checkup on the health of your brand in the marketplace, evaluating its strengths and weaknesses and how to improve it.
- Competitor analysis: A study of your competitors will reveal how to differentiate your brand from theirs, including things like brand colour, tagline, value proposition, and website.
- Positioning and messaging: A brand needs clear rational messaging which has emotional resonance with your target audience, addressing their pain points, and promoting why you’re uniquely positioned to help.
- Visual identity: A distinct logo and brand identity gives your business a distinct look and feel and helps to alleviate mixed messaging across different touchpoints, from your website to your social channels.
- Launch and roll-out: A brand refresh is a big deal. Make sure you communicate it effectively, both internally and externally. Build excitement and make it an event.