Rebrand or Brand Refresh: Knowing Which is Best for Your Business

Rebrand v Refresh Digital Sign

Does your brand need a change? Deciding to make a change to your brand – whether a refresh or rebrand – involves careful research and strategizing. Sometimes circumstances such as conversions or rebrands, dictate the need for a complete change as in a merger or acquisition. Or, a brand might benefit from a simple cosmetic update to remain visually compelling. Here are some questions that can help you determine if it’s time for a face-lift or a completely new identity:

  • Has your demographic changed?
  • Has your company, industry, or customer base evolved? 
  • Are you expanding your services or product offerings?
  • Are you growing into new geographical markets?
  • Are you undergoing a merger or acquisition?
  • Is your brand associated with a legal, image, or public relations problem? 

Brand Refresh: A Visual Make-Over

If your brand image is feeling a little dated, a refresh may give a needed boost. Often an older established brand refreshes to stay connected to a current audience while broadening its appeal to attract new customers. Refreshes can also celebrate a milestone or re-energize employees and attitudes. A refresh maintains the integrity and core values of the brand. A successful refresh can breathe new life into a business and brand, without compromising the clarity of the original brand message or story.

Refreshes are often expressed through subtle changes such as updates to logo components – color, graphics, or fonts. Logo refreshes may be all about small details. However, the implementation of the change is on a grand scale. Any update to your brand image encompasses every aspect of your marketing presence – from websites to social media to signage.

Bank of America Design Refresh: Small Changes, Big Impact

Bank of America’s original red, white and blue flag-inspired logo was created in 1998, after a merger with NationsBank. Since then, the resulting banking institution has grown to become the second-largest in the United States and increased its global presence with locations in 35 countries. 

Bank of America Refresh Logo

After two decades, a refresh was undertaken to support the company’s commitment to disciplined growth. The redesigned look has achieved that goal with a sophisticated, balanced, and symmetrical update. The palette has been deepened; the stripes are equal in width and spaced apart; a newer and sleeker font has been adopted, and the typography is now in all caps. The modernized graphics and font translate better in every medium – from print to digital. The cleaner lines work especially well when sized up or down, or when a reverse logo is needed.

Bank of America Refresh Brand Pylon Sign

Signage is one of the most integral and obvious ways to announce a refresh. The updated visuals must be faithfully reproduced on each sign at every location, and in a timely fashion. 

Rebrand:  A Transformative Process

Rebranding is a strategic change to an established brand and involves more than a face-lift. Rebranding usually includes a new name, new design concept, and new tagline. A rebrand is a completely new, differentiated identity. More than just an update to a logo or a website design, rebranding is a top to bottom change to your image and identity. In fact, rebranding is a change to your company’s core philosophy and your brand story.

The most common reason for a rebrand is a merger or acquisition. In this context, it’s imperative to have a cohesive strategy prior to the brand rollout to ensure a seamless transition. Other reasons for a total rebrand are that your brand is no longer effective in speaking to an existing audience or does not resonate with a newer audience. Sometimes a company can suffer from public relations problems and a rebrand may be the second chance that’s needed to restore market confidence. Conversions are a result of a rebrand, where multiple locations must convert from one brand to another. 

WSFS and Beneficial: Two Trusted Brands Join to Create a New Identity

WSFS Rebrand from Beneficial Branch

photos courtesy of Graphic Designer Brent Stellander

The origin stories of Wilmington Savings Fund Society and Beneficial are a study in similarities. Wilmington Savings Fund Society, or WSFS, began in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1832, to encourage local citizens to save and protect their earnings. Beneficial, formerly the Beneficial Savings Fund Society, was founded in 1853 in Philadelphia, to offer immigrants a safe and secure place to keep their money.  With their combined 350-year legacies and similar missions to serve, the two community-minded financial institutions merged in 2018 to offer expanded services and opportunities for their customers – both individual and business.

Beneficial Bank Rebrand to WSFS New Signs

photos courtesy of PSCO Graphic Designer Zack Smith

The result is a complete rebrand. Rebranding creates a new identity, in this case, from two beloved and regionally well-known companies. An integration campaign to familiarize consumers with the new brand – Two of a Kind, Become One of a Kind – was put into play as a lead-up to the August 2019 conversion. The rebrand will include a new logo, new brand identity, and new tagline: ‘We Stand for Service’.

Once completed, WSFS Bank will have 90 retail banking locations and 500 ATMs throughout the Delaware, Philadelphia, Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Southern New Jersey region. Every location will require a complete renovation – from interior design to pens!

WSFS Rebrand from Beneficial Bank Monument Sign

photo courtesy of Graphic Designer Miranda Szczesny

Signage will be the most visual medium to communicate the rebrand. A large conversion can cover hundreds of sign products, both interior and exterior. Monuments, pylons, wayfinding, large format graphics, custom architectural features, ATM surrounds – can all be a part of the design portfolio.

When it comes to conversions, the rollout involves every department within a sign company. Each phase is synchronized from project management to design, engineering, manufacturing, permitting, and installation. WSFS chose Philadelphia Sign, another great legacy company, to manage their conversion. PSCO has the ability to handle rebrands and subsequent conversions on any scale and scope. 

Why choose Philadelphia Sign for your Refresh or Rebrand?

  • Philadelphia Sign is strategically positioned with manufacturing capabilities and installation teams around the country.
  • We wrote the book on project management with a time-tested proprietary system that is an industry model. 
  • A large percentage of our signs are manufactured using solar energy and we practice green initiatives – from the energy-saving lighting components in our signage to our environmentally safe disposal methods.
  • We have the most experience with large, complex conversions.
  • PSCO offers maintenance contracts to extend the life of your signs and save you money.
  • We are trusted by the largest and most well-known corporations in the US and the world.

 Whether you are refreshing or rebranding, your signage is an integral part of your strategy. It represents the visual identity of your brand on-site, at the point of contact.

Contact us today to choose Philadelphia Sign, a sign company that has the experience and reaches to convey your brand image whenever and wherever you grow.