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Free Rebranding Handbook

The “quick brand refresh” that bites

Danny Ruspandini - Impact Labs Australia
Danny R.

Many organisations go through a totally voluntary brand refresh every 2 or 3 years, just to keep things... well, fresh!

There could be a million different reasons which I obviously don’t know and wouldn’t list here if I did, but some reasons I do know of include:

  • The brand starts feeling dated (likely because it was created in line with a trend, which is no longer trendy)
  • New cohorts or students start every few years, so it’s a fresh start for everyone
  • Staff have become disengaged, so the hope is that a refresh will "re-engage" them
  • The board or team expect it, because it always happens around this time
  • There's a genuine need to communicate and reflect a significant change

Whether any of those are the right decision or not, again hinges on far too many factors to list here. But if you're an org who likes to refresh regularly, some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Are you hoping to reflect a change, or are you hoping a refresh will create change? It might do either, but keep your expectations grounded...
  • Have you considered ALL of the inventory items that will need to be updated and/or disposed of? The inventory list can quickly blow out as items that have been overlooked come into focus, often once the refresh is already in motion. So always, always take a detailed inventory (or refer to a previous one!) and plan ahead.
  • Does your disposal plan incorporate recycling and upcycling options, even for things that aren't obviously recyclable? A quick Google might present some surprising options.
  • What's the real cost of a wholesale update, and how will you measure whether that money was well spent? I’d argue that whatever metric you choose is less likely to be a financial one, and more likely to be something like team engagement, positive feedback, or smiles on faces.

Often what seems like a “quick refresh” can easily blow out to a significant and expensive rebrand with lots of waste. It can get away from you quickly, so ensure you know the inventory items that will be affected, and weigh that against your budget as well as your sustainability policies.

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