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How To Know When You Need a Brand Refresh

By Danny Starr on Sep 9, 2016 11:42:01 AM

You've got a brand that's been around for a while, and now you're thinking about updating it. But do you know when the right time is to refresh your brand?

There are a few things to consider when asking yourself this question, and this post is meant to guide you through that process. With a few simple questions, we hope to help you reach the right solution.


Did you know we've had a recent brand refresh?

As an Ottawa-based Marketing Agency, Cyan Solutions has been around for over 22 years. We've grown and expanded our product offerings so it was time that we refreshed our brand so that it was properly aligned with who we are now and who we're going to be in the future. 

1. Has it been a while since you updated the visual identity of your brand? 

Even though your brand might be well established and your logo is well known in the marketplace, after a few years, it's important to evaluate whether your visual identity (logo, visual elements, typeface etc) could use a refresh. If you can't recall the last time you altered your visual identity, it might be time for a change.

But don't worry!  Change can bring about a number of amazing things for your business.  For one, it might help you alter the perception of your brand and/or appeal to new audiences. 

For example, Pepsi changes their logo every 10 years or so.  At Cyan, our previous logo was over 10 years old so we were definitely in need of a new look. 


Old Cyan Solutions Logo 2013


2. Do you want to retain the same visual connection with your audience?

Sometimes, a brand can have such a powerful visual connection with its audience that considering a rebrand is a bad idea. However, a refreshed brand can remind your audience that you are here to stay, and show them that you've been progressing through the years. The key is to update your visual identity (the overall look of your brand), without changing it too much.

We decided that we need to refresh our logo to reflect current design trends, yet retail some visual connection so that people would still recognize us. 


Cyan Solutions New Logo 2016


3. Does your brand represent your current business?

Things change, companies grow and contract so you need to ask yourself if your brand accurately reflects your current business.  You've grown in the past few years, and your product offerings probably have too! Refreshing your brand provides you with an opportunity to showcase the new offerings within your business, without completely changing its scope.

Our decision to refresh our brand had to consider how we were going to communicate our complete product offerings to our clients, audience, and future employees.  Like many Ottawa marketing agencies, we used to do a lot of print design work.  Today, we develop strategies and campaigns that span traditional and digital media. 



4. Do you need to address the current market conditions?

Staying up to date with the current conditions in the marketplace can be a tough feat. Sometimes updating your company brand can help deliver the message that you are keeping up. Customers want to know that you are updating your business as new market forces, such as competition and technology, emerge. 

In our industry, lower barriers to entry have meant that competition has increased.  For these reasons, it was important that Cyan take a strong look at our brand and attempt to reframe within the market for Ottawa marketing agencies.  


5. Do you need a new look, or a new outlook?

After taking a look at the previous questions, you might think a brand refresh is a good idea. This final question should help you figure out whether you need a brand refresh or a complete rebrand. We've talked about the reasons why you might need to refresh your brand, but some of these are also true for a rebrand. 

The question is...

Do you need a new LOOK or a new OUTLOOK?



A new look is synonymous with a brand refresh. You aren't getting down to the nitty-gritty stuff - which means you're ready for a brand refresh. Take a look at some of the risks associated with a brand refresh before you dive into that project. 



A new outlook means remodelling part of your business. This process takes a lot more time, money, and certainty. Take a look at whether a rebrand is the right thing for your business before you jump right in. 

Before taking on a brand refresh, there are a few risks that should be examined. By examining these risks, and keeping them in mind when updating your brand, you should be headed in the right direction.

  • Avoid confusing your audience with your message.
  • Keep true to your message and identity by avoiding being too trendy.
  • Find the right time for you and your business, optimizing the reach of your "new" brand.


But wait! You don't have to do it all alone!
Getting some help from a Marketing Agency might be a good call. Why not find out what we can do for you?
Contact Us Today!


Topics: Branding

Danny Starr

Danny Starr

Danny Starr the Director of Marketing Strategy at Cyan. He has been working in marketing since 2001. He spends his free time with his wife Kirsten, their two sons, and their dog Murray.