As a brand agency, we know that great branding works. It’s the not-so-secret ingredient that gives great ideas the power to fly. It gives you a competitive edge, helps you speak your audience’s language and keeps you relevant. Your brand is who you are, and for it to work, branding needs to hit the spot – every time. We’re talking about a well-oiled machine that’s perfectly aligned with your brand strategy, mission and goals.

Your brand isn’t built to be static – it should constantly evolve, adapt and optimise. You can do this with one of two processes: a brand refresh or a rebrand.

Rebrand vs brand refresh

What’s the difference?

A brand refresh takes your brand out for a makeover. Nails. Hair. One of those facials where they put cucumber slices on your eyes. The whole shebang. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that these primarily cosmetic changes won’t make a huge difference. Done right, a brand refresh can revolutionise your brand. Expand your audience. Increase sales. Improve company culture. Brand refreshes happen all the time and are a powerful way to keep a brand on track and relevant.

A rebrand is a different beast. It’s bigger. Hairier. And it’s worth a closer look. When a makeover isn’t enough, a rebrand wipes the slate clean and starts branding again from scratch. Everything about your current brand is left in the past. Sound scary? We think it’s exciting. It’s an opportunity to strap on your scuba mask, take a deep breath and deep dive into those big brand questions: Who are you? What do you do? How and why are you doing that thing you do?

Rebrands use research and brand strategy to build powerful, purposeful, potent new brands. Where you walk away from a brand refresh with a new identity – you leave a rebrand as a whole new person. One who knows where they’re going, what they’re doing, and how they’re getting there.

So you know your brand needs shaking up, but which do you choose? Brand refresh or rebrand?

Your brand is an instrument. A refresh keeps it in tune.


You can’t work it out. Your brand has solid foundations – but something’s not quite right. Despite your marketing efforts, you’re not reaching your target audience. You’re missing out on sales. Your engagement is lagging. You know people want and need what you have to offer, but you’re not getting through to them. Sound familiar? We get it. We’ve all been there. And we think you could be the perfect candidate for a brand refresh.

Who is a brand refresh for?

A brand refresh is for anyone who sees room for improvement but doesn’t need to start the branding process again from scratch. Maybe your brand image is no longer in sync with what you’re providing. Your brand identity might feel limiting, or maybe it’s just dusty and outdated. A brand refresh breathes new life into your brand, keeping it up-to-date, relevant and – most importantly – perfectly aligned with your brand strategy.

What’s involved in a brand refresh?

What does this look like in practice? When we work with you on a brand refresh, we want to maintain the fundamental identity and position of your existing brand. We know you’re on to a good thing – we’re here to make sure your brand identity is in tune with that solid strategy. This means the essence of your brand stays the same.

The brand refresh process generally involves modernising and aligning your visual identity. We’re checking that how you look and sound reflects who you are. Think updated logos, a refined colour palette and well-considered fonts. It can include adjustments to your brand voice, slogans and even the services you deliver.

A simple brand refresh takes between 4-6 weeks to complete. You will leave with a new visual identity – a refined look and feel for your brand, recalibrated to your sturdy strategy. Small changes. Big results.

Reflect. Rewind. Rebrand.

But what if your brand’s foundations feel a little … wobbly? Just like you wouldn’t renovate a house that’s sinking into quicksand, a brand refresh isn’t going to do the trick for a brand whose foundations aren’t solid. Enter: the rebrand.

Who is a rebrand for?

A rebrand is a big deal. It’s an extensive process for businesses who want to strategically reposition themselves. It’s a fresh start. A new direction. It’s an opportunity to reflect on where changes need to be made – and to get it right. The rebrand process takes between 3-6 months, so best suits people who want to take the time and invest the money in creating fantastic new branding foundations.

Rebrands can be reactive or proactive. Does your brand need to recover and rebound from negative public perception? Are you struggling to keep up with or differentiate yourself from your competitors? React. Rebrand. Proactive rebranding is a rebrand in anticipation of change. Changing your strategy or your offering? Tackling your wishy-washy brand story or positioning? Be proactive. Rebrand.

What’s involved in a brand refresh?

The rebranding process is a factory reset for your brand. It rewinds your brand journey to the very beginning, taking nothing for granted. We kick it off with research. Then analysis. We use this to weave an intricate roadmap that defines your new strategy. Brand positioning. Brand values. Architecture. Messaging. Brand story. The works. We help you to create a future-proof brand strategy. This one’s rock solid.

And this shiny new brand strategy is a trellis for your new brand identity to grow around. It could include a new logo design, name, tagline, tone of voice. New font, colours and supporting elements. All built to last and completely aligned with your strategy.

Whatever you go into a rebrand with, you’ll come out with something truly new. More purposeful. More targeted. More you. From the foundations up.

So rebrand or refresh? The answer lies in your brand.

Consider your brand. What it needs. Where it’s going.

Does your brand strategy still meet your needs, but not your visual identity? Are you confident that you’re heading in the right direction, even if your company’s positioning is slightly veering off course? Do you find yourself wishing your brand identity was a bit more modern, or in line with your company culture or brand promise? You’re the perfect fit for a refresh.

But if you find your brand itself is the problem – lacking direction because of a merger, a change in markets or just an unclear strategy, or changing direction proactively – it could be time to strap on your gloves and get into the ring. This one’s big. It’s exciting. It’s a rebrand.

And if you’re still unsure, get in touch. At Distl, branding is our specialty, and we’ve got the expertise to help you identify which option suits your business best. Whichever you need, both rebrands and refreshes are powerful means to steer your brand back on course. Anchors away. We’re excited for your journey.

Katja Lambert

Senior Designer