Rebrands vs Brand Evolutions: Dispelling Myths and Assumptions

18th Jun 2024

Welcome to the first instalment of our three-part series dedicated to unpacking the complexities of rebrands and brand evolutions. In this initial blog, we will delve into the often-confused concepts of rebranding and brand evolutions. Our goal is to clarify the differences between these two strategies, debunk common myths, and provide insights directly from our team members. By the end of this series, you will have a comprehensive understanding of how these strategies can be effectively utilised to enhance your brand.

What Will This Blog Discuss?

In this blog, we will cover:

  1. The definitions of rebranding and brand evolutions.
  2. The key differences between the two.
  3. Common myths and assumptions about rebrands and evolutions, with responses from our team.
  4. Guidance on when to choose a complete rebrand versus a brand evolution.

Understanding Rebrands and Brand Evolutions

Rebranding involves fundamentally changing the overall image of a company. This can include changes to the company’s name, logo, visual identity, messaging, and sometimes even its core values and mission. Rebranding is typically undertaken to signify a major shift in the company’s direction, to address a crisis, or to differentiate from competitors in a significant way.

Brand Evolutions, on the other hand, focusses on updating and modernising the existing brand identity. This might involve tweaking the logo, updating the colour palette, refining the messaging, or making subtle changes to the visual style. The core elements of the brand remain the same, but they are given a fresh, contemporary look to stay relevant and appealing.

East Midlands Chamber Rebrand

Key Differences

  • Scope of Change:
    • Rebranding: Comprehensive and often involves a complete overhaul.
    • Brand Evolution: Subtle updates to modernise and refine the existing brand.
  • Purpose:
    • Rebranding: Signals a new direction, new strategy, or significant change in the company.
    • Brand Evolution: Keeps the brand current and aligned with the evolving digital landscape to ensure long-term relevance.
  • Impact:
    • Rebranding: Can have a profound impact on brand perception and market positioning. It can help a brand reach a new audience or market, realign with new business goals, and create a distinct identity that stands out from competitors.
    • Brand Evolution: Modernises the brand while preserving its core identity, allowing it to renew interest, generate buzz, and connect with new audiences. It adapts the brand to evolving market expectations and trends, often creating renewed interest and engagement.

Myths and Assumptions About Rebrands and Evolutions

We asked our team members, including Grant Thompson and Sami Mohammed, to address some of the most common misconceptions about rebranding and brand evolutions.

Myth 1: Rebranding is just a new logo.

Grant: “A rebrand goes far beyond a new logo. It’s about redefining how the brand is perceived in the market. It involves a comprehensive strategy that touches on every aspect of the business.”

Myth 2: A brand refresh is not worth the effort.

Sami: “A brand evolution can make a significant difference. It keeps the brand relevant and up to date, ensuring it resonates with current and potential customers, while providing lasting value.”

Myth 3: Rebrands are only for failing businesses.

Grant: “Many successful businesses rebrand to stay ahead of the curve, align with new business goals, or enter new markets. It’s a proactive strategy, not just a reactive one.”

Myth 4: Customers won’t notice a refresh.

Sami: “Customers do notice and appreciate a well-executed refresh. It shows that the brand is evolving and staying relevant.”

Elton Ecology Brand Refresh

When to Choose a Rebrand vs. an Evolution

Opt for a Complete Rebrand When:

  • You’re entering a new market or launching a new product line.
  • The current brand has a negative perception or association.
  • There’s been a significant shift in the company’s direction or strategy.
  • You need to differentiate significantly from competitors.
  • If the objective is to correct a fundamental misalignment or shift in market positioning.

Opt for a Brand Evolution When:

  • The brand feels outdated but still holds value and recognition.
  • You want to reach a new audience while retaining existing customers.
  • The brand’s core values and mission remain relevant.
  • The scope of work is incremental, and you want to spread the cost with a phased implementation approach.


Understanding the nuances between a rebrand and a brand evolution can significantly impact your business strategy and market presence. It is important to remember the following:

Brand evolutions usually involve subtle updates, such as tweaking the logo, updating the colour palette, refreshing the website, and modernising marketing materials. Changes can often be implemented gradually, spreading the cost over time and minimising immediate financial impact. Because the brand’s core elements and essence remain intact, there are fewer disruptions to existing brand equity. This can result in cost savings related to customer education and marketing.

On the other hand, a full rebrand often involves a complete overhaul of the brand’s visual identity, messaging, positioning, and sometimes even its name. This comprehensive approach typically requires more extensive research, design, and implementation as it is rolled out across all touchpoints including signage, packaging, uniforms, and digital assets. Significant changes necessitate educating existing customers about the new brand, which can involve substantial marketing and communication efforts.

In our next blog, we will explore effective rebrands and evolutions through various case studies. Stay tuned for valuable insights and lessons.

If you’re inspired by the potential of rebranding or refreshing your brand, let think3 help you bring your vision to life. Explore our rebrand projects and services today and see how we can elevate your brand to new heights.

Contact us to get started on your brand transformation journey.