About The Author
Kendra Lively

After gaining a decade of experience as a Creative Director, Kendra joined Phase 3 with the acquisition of Brand Fever in 2015. The lynchpin of the Phase 3 creative team, she guides projects from beginning to end, overseeing design innovation and execution to ensure it solves the defined business problem through creative excellence. With expertise in branding, integrated marketing campaigns, design systems and user interfaces, Kendra is a talented leader who inspires work that is individually motivating and collectively influential.

How to Plan a Successful Brand Refresh

By Kendra Lively
April 07, 2022

It’s safe to say we learned a lot about ourselves and our world in the last few years. We learned how to tolerate and even accept change. We discovered new priorities around work and family. We embraced new ideas about the world. We learned how to bake bread and grow vegetables. Smart business leaders are aware of this shift in consumer perception and priorities and are committed to pivoting with their customers.

This might mean that it's time to think about a company brand refresh. When done with empathy, flexibility, and strategic thinking, a rebrand is an opportunity to build trust and inspire loyalty with your customers and employees.


According to a McKinsey article published in 2020, 75% of Americans have changed brands recently. Their top three reasons for the switch are value, availability, and convenience. Here is an incredible opportunity to attract new customers shifting their priorities and looking for a new experience. With the right message, you will also earn enhanced loyalty from your existing customers. 


There’s also an increased demand from consumers for brand transparency and authenticity and a wish that companies be more active in addressing issues like racial justice and inequality. Younger generations want brands to be more sustainable and mission-driven. Purpose-driven branding has become expected in many sectors. How will your company address these issues?


A rebrand can also unify your employees behind a new purpose and a clear point of view. With the current worker shortage, it would be a huge benefit to ensure genuine employee commitment now and in the future with a fresh, new brand.



What Do We Mean by Rebranding?

HubSpot defines rebranding as when your company rethinks your marketing strategy with a new name, logo, or design, to develop a new, differentiated identity in the minds of customers and other stakeholders. This is more than a "refresh" of your logo. A true rebrand is a reflective of a shift in your business strategy.


Your brand is your most valuable asset. It is your reputation. It is the feeling people feel when they see your logo, hear your business name in conversation, visit your social media pages, or walk into one of your locations. The power of a strong, relevant, and clear brand is tremendous. It can make or break your business.


Should We Do a Brand Refresh Right Now?

There are other factors to consider before you pull the trigger. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Has your brand story or message become outdated or stale?
  • Has your market differentiator become obsolete or different?
  • Has your target market or marketing personas changed?
  • Have you added services, products, or other companies that have changed your business model or caused discrepancies in your overall brand message and look?
  • Has your long-term strategic plan changed, and your brand no longer reflects your mission?
  • Have you lost customers or employees?

These questions should not be considered in a vacuum. No brand refresh will be successful unless you have internal buy-in. The best way to ensure that would be to include your staff in the research process. They experience your brand every day so they will have a unique story to tell.  Ask them how they would answer the questions above and use their answers when making your rebranding decision.




The Process of a Successful Brand Refresh

The rebranding process necessitates research, research, research! It is critical to dig deep into your internal culture, mission, values, products/ services, and marketing messaging first so you understand how your employees view and understand  your brand. Externally, your customers are your best source for information on how your brand is perceived. It is always beneficial to gather a cross-section of your customers who fit your target personas to participate in stakeholder interviews.


The goal is to understand the sentiment behind your brand, awareness for your organization, who your customers feel your competitors are in terms of services offered and share of wallet, and perhaps most importantly, why they choose to buy from you. We will take note of any disconnects between your current brand and what we’ve learned from our internal stakeholder meetings and  also keep in mind the current business and social climate to address when appropriate.

The real work will then begin. Phase 3 will use all the information we’ve gathered to review your current brand and create a new brand strategy that reflects your company's long-term strategic plan. When we’ve established this strategy, we will then turn our attention to your brand elements to make decisions on updating. These could include:

  • Company Name
  • Mission
  • Values
  • Vision
  • Purpose
  • Target Personas
  • Brand Personality
  • Brand Tone
  • Messaging (slogan, tag line, elevator speech)
  • Visual Identity (logo, colors, font, images)

Once we’ve made those decisions, it is time to put your new brand front and center. Some of the elements that we will update are:

  • Digital Channels (website, social media, blogs)
  • Marketing Materials
  • Printed Materials (business cards, letterhead)
  • External and Internal Signs
  • Product Displays
  • Vehicles
  • Uniforms

We offer a detailed checklist that can help you keep track of your business elements that may need to be rebranded. This list is not exhaustive. Your company may have other elements to update when planning a brand refresh so ask your account manager for a copy of the list to help you think it through.




A complete brand refresh rollout plan can take between four and six months, longer if you need to rebrand your website. It can also be a considerable cost – from $60,000 to $500,000 or more depending on expenses such as signage, uniforms and fleet vehicles. Phase 3 can help create a phased brand rollout to manage the expense of rebranding over time.


Ready to Launch          

We recommend you use the launch of your new brand as an opportunity to make a big impact with both your customers and your employees.  Rebranding your website is a must as it is your most accessible and powerful brand asset. A new brand is a also great opportunity to create a buzz around your business, build community awareness, and win some impactful earned media. We'll help you decide when and how to launch your new brand. Our Plan on a Page process will map out the communication strategy launching the brand internally first, so employees become brand ambassadors, and then an external reveal to your customers and prospects.


A strategic brand refresh can focus new attention on the good your company is doing, bring in new customers, and re-engage existing customers.


Luke Lintz reminds us that in today’s market, “a large part of investing in yourself and your business is with branding.” In today’s world, proper branding is the bedrock of a successful business. Need help getting started? Contact us today.