8 Ways to Freshen Your Brand’s Look – Without Rebranding

The longer you look at your graphics and website, the more you may see the seams and joints: Places where color choices could have been better or once stylish fonts that may be looking a little dated now. You know that a full rebranding isn’t needed yet, but you want to improve how your brand looks. So how can you do it? How much should you tinker with your visual style and elements? Would it be better for you to focus on updating the content featured on your site or in your social media?

Below, eight members of Forbes Agency Council offer their advice on refreshing the look of a brand without completely reworking the look.

Keep Your Foundation and Update the Accents

“Just like updating your living room, you don’t need to move walls to create a fresh look … same with a brand: Keep the logo and any assets true to the core, and update a secondary color, add a new headline font or update the style of photography. It’s a good way to test a new brand in pieces while you plan for a future overhaul.” – Dava Guthmiller, Noise 13

Fix Inconsistencies

“If it’s looking tired, chances are it’s become inconsistent over time. Establish a holistic style guide. Take out redundant elements. Make sure all your properties follow it to the pixel, consistently. Watch the implementation on digital devices. For example, all assets should look good on high-res screens. Your best customers are using better devices.” – Alper Cakir, Fake Crow

Update Your Brand Through Your Products

“Brands like IBM introduce elements of a refreshed visual brand identity through the packaging of new products and services. This ladders up to the larger brand ecosystem but has more flexibility to capitalize on new trends and engage different audiences without investing in a total brand overhaul.” – Dan LaCivita, Firstborn

Simplify Branding Assets

“Often, a successful brand refresh involves the simplification of branding assets. A logo that is outdated usually features too many elements or content, which can result in over complicated messaging. Paring down a logo (leaving colors intact) or refining a tagline delivers a more relevant brand to the market.” – Goran Paunovic, ArtVersion Interactive Agency

Refresh Your Social Presence

“Social media is built for refreshes like this! You can change up the message, the tone and feel, and the imagery associated, almost on the fly. Even better, you can measure the impact in engagement and measurable actions, and use that to make the business case during a full rebrand.” – Michael Mothner, Wpromote

Try Out a New Message

“Rebranding a company can be difficult and expensive. We recommend that instead of a full rebranding, companies should explore developing a new messaging platform – messages that include a new elevator pitch, tagline or branding statement. Sometimes adjusting your messaging can generate new life into an existing brand, and at a fraction of the cost and time.” – John Gumas, Gumas Advertising

Feature Your People

“Add visual updates featuring your people and treat it like a full campaign. Make the effort and messaging consistent across all social platforms and on your website. Your people are part of your brand and are a dynamic way to energize and refresh the brand. It’s a great way to test the waters to see if a rebrand is actually necessary.” – Dan Golden, Be Found Online

Remember Your Goals

“If your goal is to progressively move towards a complete rebrand, you need to keep that in mind and make sure that your minor changes can progressively lead you to your goal. Before making a change, do your best to ensure that it’s compatible with your existing brand, as well as the vision you have for your new brand.” – Ahmad Kareh, Twistlab Marketing

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