There are two types of companies: those that change and those that disappear; as Philip Kotler said. Customer needs change, technology evolves, and market trends transform. So why not embrace change as an essential necessity to not only survive, but also to grow?

As in the course of nature itself, restyling and rebranding are two powerful tools to adapt a brand and secure its future. But when is the time for one or the other? What are their differences? The truth is, that will depend on each case, so let’s start by calling each thing by its name.

RESTYLING: Refreshing the image

Updating, restyling or refresh basically refers to the style and image, respecting the brand’s DNA. Sometimes a new look or a change in personality is all a brand needs to reconnect with its audience or attract new customers.

Updating, restyling or refresh basically refers to the style and image, respecting the brand’s DNA. Sometimes a new look or personality adjustment is all a brand needs to reconnect with its audience or attract new customers.

 

When is the right time for a restyling? Under this approach, common situations cover needs such as:

  • Reinforce the existing image.
  • Strengthen the brand’s personality.
  • Avoid confusion with other brands.
  • Adapt to technological advancement.
  • Update communication.
  • Reflect slight changes in the company.
  • Open dialogue with the audience.

What does the restyling include? Addressing this process means that color palette, fonts, shapes, personality traits, etc., could be affected. In short, the way in which the brand expresses itself.

 

Elements for successful restyling:

  1. Set the goals: Specify the reason for making the change.
  2. Identify what works and what doesn’t: You need to consolidate what’s working and find areas for improvement.
  3. Think about your target audience: It’s about connecting with the new identity.
  4. Analyze your competition: Stay away from trends without personality.
  5. Ensures consistency: It’s not just a visual exercise, you need to make sure it brings the essence of the brand to life.

Inspiration: The redesign of the Instagram logo, in 2022, is a good example of how an update can achieve a positive effect, even without involving a drastic graphic change. According to Instagram, the new brand identity is “designed to embrace evolution and help create more immersive and inclusive experiences.” The new logo features thicker lines and a kinder gradient, a small but powerful update. The change in gradient has helped improve recognition on mobile devices. Plus, it’s a smart way to pique people’s interest and encourage them to talk about your brand.

 

 

REBRANDING: Fundamental transformation for the future

A rebranding strategy involves a much bigger change than an evolution of your identity and directly affects the brand strategy. We could also refer to it as repositioning. It is a much deeper decision linked to the very heart of the business, questioning its very essence and setting new guidelines to address the future.

When is the right time for a rebranding? It may need to be addressed due to various circumstances, such as:

  • Changes in the target or its expansion.
  • Modifications in the market.
  • New competitors threatening.
  • Merger, acquisition or takeover processes.
  • Reorganization of existing brands.
  • Considerable changes in corporate strategy.
  • Negative associations that are difficult to manage.

Elements for successful rebranding:

  1. Define the goal: Identify why the change is being made.
  2. Take an in-depth look: Research is key to understanding the market and customers.
  3. Develop a solid strategy: It defines a new platform for the brand and enhances its differentiation.
  4. Check the identity: The new strategy must be backed by an identity in line with it.
  5. Ensures coordinated activation: Think of an activation plan for both the inside and the outside.

 

Inspiration: The renowned Gucci brand observed how its audience was aging and its image did not attract new generations, so it embarked on an ambitious repositioning plan. It wanted to retain its Italian heritage and flamboyance while also being more contemporary. In 2015, the brand embarked on a repositioning exercise that culminated in a revamped identity and fresher, Instagram-style communication, adopting an empowering stance on gender fluidity.

MORE THAN A CONCEPT

Whether it’s a restyling to adjust the image or a rebranding for a strategic transformation, brands are faced with the constant need to evolve. Adapting to ever-changing expectations and embracing new opportunities is crucial to prevent their demise and business decline. Is your brand ready for the next chapter?

 

Branward Editorial Team