Ecommerce Brand Refresh: A Comprehensive Guide

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March 30, 2020
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Ecommerce Brand Refresh: A Comprehensive Guide
KDCI Outsourcing
September 6, 2023

Rebranding and brand refreshing differ in many factors; however, often, they are confused with each other. These factors depend mostly on what your goals for your business are, and how you want to achieve those goals. It all boils down to how much effort you are willing to put into your brand.

The Difference Between Rebranding and Brand Refresh


When it comes to effort, rebranding takes first place.Rebranding involves a full overhaul of all the basic structure of your brand and then reestablishing it into a new face.Contrary to what most believe, rebranding isn’t just a simple update in the brand logo, redesigning the Ecommerce website, or changing the brand name. It must have the purpose of introducing the company in a new emotional and mental light to its consumers.

Brand Refresh

Meanwhile, a brand refresh involves updating or “refreshing” a part of the brand that is already familiar to its consumers. Instead of an entire do-over, a brand can choose to update visual components or adapt its messaging to either a more specific, or a broader buyer persona.More often, brands that undergo a brand refresh are brick-and-mortar stores who wish to adapt to the growing Ecommerce industry. Sometimes it’s refreshing an old website or modernizing the brand itself and its assets.

Which One Does Your Ecommerce Business Need?

To know whether you need rebranding or a brand refresh, you have to know the elements that you need to update or change, and why it’s necessary. Branding is all about conveying your company’s image and purpose to consumers.Therefore, if there is a particular component that doesn’t follow your standards, then changing, updating, or removing may be necessary.

When Should You Rebrand Your Business?

brown and white butterfly as a symbol for rebranding

It’s common for businesses to engage in a rebranding process. The reason can sometimes be because of a tarnished name or reputation. Other times it’s because of company expansion or corporate decision.As for your Ecommerce business, there can be many circumstances that will drive you to rebrand. Knowing when to rebrand is essential to reduce the chances of exhausting your time, effort, and — most importantly — money.

1. Failing to Go Against Competitors

There are many reasons why a brand can’t compete with its industry rivals. It could be because of inauthenticity, disappointment from consumers, poor product quality — the list goes on.Although one thing is guaranteed, brands fail because they can't adapt enough to go against competitors.Take Apple, for example.It was almost entirely bankrupt in 1997 until a hopeful Steve Jobs rebranded the company from something that sells computers (like its main competitor, Microsoft) into a brand that caters to all the possible technological needs of its consumers. They even went as far as changing the company name from Apple Computer, Inc to just Apple. Since then, it got to its feet and grew into a multibillion-dollar company.So if your Ecommerce business’ sales are plummeting — or it’s too far behind from competitors — there’s a chance that you might need to rebrand.However, we don’t recommend you to enforce a full-on rebranding just for this sole reason immediately.So, steer clear from impulsive decisions.Take the time to sit down and conduct an honest, comprehensive competitor analysis. This will allow you to have data-backed information about whether or not you need to rebrand or refresh. If the necessary changes are too distinct, then you need to rebrand.

2. Tainted Brand or Product Reputation

In 2003, Philip Morris, one of the largest tobacco brands in the world, was proven innocent from a smoking-related death case.After that, they immediately changed their company name before anything damaging happened for being linked to such negative publicity. Additionally, they also had to develop an entire communications strategy, refocus their marketing campaigns, and redesign their logo.Critics thought that it was a PR maneuver to protect the corporation’s image. However, Philip Morris (now called Altria) insisted that it was more of their way to reach a broader demographic since they also sell products other than tobacco. Either way, they still stand as a multibillion-dollar company today, all thanks to their quick rebranding strategy.Hopefully, your Ecommerce brand or business wouldn’t have to go through any defacing incidents that might force you to rebrand. Otherwise, this could be one of the most — if not the most — expensive rebranding you will ever have to go through.The best thing that you could do is to prevent or address mishaps immediately before they grow into something bigger. One of the best ways to do that is to have a team of dedicated customer support representatives.Every Ecommerce brand needs a customer support team, so you’re going to need someone who can help you find people to fill those seats. Having us as your business partner means you have our full dedication to finding the best talent available.You focus on developing and growing your Ecommerce business while we take care of your customer service and HR needs here. Find out more about the customer support talent that you can outsource through us and click the button below.Help me build my customer support team

3. Inconsistent Branding

In Psychology, consistent branding can be considered as a form of psychological priming. Priming is the act of presenting a prompt or stimulus — like an image or a word — to someone to influence how they will respond or react to the succeeding stimulus.In business, it’s one way to establish a consumer’s expectations about a website, product, service, etc. To build familiarity with your Ecommerce business, you have to introduce your brand over and over again with the same language and imaging.When a brand has inconsistencies across its channels — website, social, mobile app, et cetera — it’s a clear indicator that it doesn’t know what to convey to its audience and who its audience is.Inconsistencies will confuse your target audience about what your company, product, or service does.However, it’s common for Ecommerce businesses to encounter inconsistencies because marketing and sales channels grow with new technology, as well as techniques and strategies.These new features or updates can force you to rebrand, especially if you want to adapt to what your target market wants.

4. Changing Audience

Rebranding for changing audiences is more often influenced by either the company outgrowing its target audience or the target audience outgrowing the company.When you outgrow your target audience, it could be because of your brand expanding and adding new products or services that don’t fit your current demographic. Another reason could be your brand being typecast even after attempts of marketing your expansion.Rebranding can help you target a broader audience and continue to grow your brand.Meanwhile, rebranding may also be needed if your old target audience has outgrown your brand. Some business owners will be uncomfortable with this. Unfortunately, many companies have died because of their unwillingness to grow with their audience.What you may be doing for the past ten years may not work today. Your target consumers in that time have grown — and will continue to grow older — and a new generation will replace them.For your brand to survive, you have to continuously create new strategies to progress and catch up with your consumers.

5. Growing Out of the Initial Mission

Growing out of your goals when you first started business piggybacks on the rebrand reason for changing the audience.Just like how Dunkin’ Donuts rebranded their company into just Dunkin’ last January 2019. After almost 70 years, the company decided to drop the “Donuts” to follow a new goal, which is to serve coffee and to “modernize the Dunkin’ experience” for its customers.Dunkin’ invested millions of dollars in the rebrand, which included a new logo, packaging, advertising, website, and social channels. Of course, for their customers to feel the rebrand, they also remodeled their stores, starting from the US to all their branches in the world.Rebranding is also about how much you are willing to risk to achieve new and better goals to grow your business.

When Does Your Business Need Brand Refreshing?

As simple as refreshing seems when compared to rebranding, don’t underestimate how a simple brand refresh can influence how your customers view your business. Sometimes, something as necessary as a change of logo can make or break your company’s reputation.So, to make sure you go for the “make” rather than the “break,” here are some pointers about only needing a brand refresh.

1. Outdated Channels

As new technologies arise, new and updated marketing channels have appeared to improve how you target customers and — of course — make a profit.While your Ecommerce company may not encounter the same struggle as older, traditional businesses, you still need to brand refresh if you’re using earlier digital channels.Here are some questions you should consider.

  • Have you automated your email marketing efforts?
  • Do you have a mobile app to pair with your Ecommerce website?
  • Have you explored other channels that may work for your business?

Essential to brand refresh is to keep your Ecommerce channels updated is to remain informed about the latest marketing trends. If you see something that you can use and will help you reach your goals, don’t hesitate to incorporate it into your strategy.Although, adding a new channel to your business doesn’t mean you have to rebrand. If you can still use a similar voice, messaging, and design on your website into an app, then all you need is a simple brand refresh.

2. Outdated Design

On average, an Ecommerce website (or app) must be redesigned every 2 to 4 years or so. This could vary depending on the performance of your traffic and conversions. If your website is doing well, you might not need to brand refresh and make a full redesign.On the other hand, a site not reaching business goals might have to be redesigned again after a year or less.Other parts of your business may also need to be redesigned, but probably not as often as your website and app do. Brand logos are usually updated every five years. Meanwhile, new and modern email template designs have been popping up and driving conversions.Word of caution, though, don’t change or update your designs just because you’re tired of it — aka, brand fatigue.If it’s still performing well, then you probably don’t have to invest too much time worrying about a redesign.Hence, every change in your design must have enough data to prove that you need a brand refresh. Otherwise, you’re only wasting time, effort, and money.

3. Messaging Issues

Your messaging must continuously speak in the same voice and follow your goals, regardless of the medium used.Keep in mind that the whole point of your brand refresh in messaging is to make your customers understand what you want to tell them and why they should do it.Many problems can arise from messaging issues if not addressed immediately. Worst comes to worst; this may deter your customers from purchasing or going back to your Ecommerce store.Luckily, messaging issues can easily be set right after a brand refresh. The best place to start is to conduct a content audit, which will allow you to see all of your content as a whole.Moreover, auditing can help you develop more content strategies and target specific types of consumers based on the marketing channel and buyer’s journey they are in.As for your website, don’t write your content alone.There is a whole surplus of experienced talent out there that you can hire to write compelling content for you. However, the entire hiring process can be a drag if you have other priorities to accomplish, which is why we want to help you.One of the job roles we can help hire and house for you is an Ecommerce content writer. We can help you find and build your content team, giving you the ease of having an offshore department.That way, you can cut expenses that would’ve been spent on utilities, office space, or technology if you expanded locally.Help me find content writers

4. Realigning Products or Services

Sometimes, some of your products or services no longer reflect what your company believes in. Other times, they don’t fit well in your strategy anymore because they perform poorly. This could be because of misaligned products or services.Product alignment lets you place existing and prospective consumers into segments to know what product they want, and how they’ll react to the product. When products or services are misaligned, your products target the wrong customers, which may lead to poor sales performance and unreached goals.Conducting a brand refresh can help you realign your products.Though the strategy of brand refresh depends from one brand to another, it could include surveys, purchase behavior data, customer service evaluations, and more.Using data, you can see which products need to be updated or removed and what products you are missing.Growing Ecommerce businesses struggle to brand refresh and make these changes because of attachments to the initial idea. Still, you must monitor, evaluate, and adjust so that you can sell your products better and ensure that they cater to what your customers need.

5. Retargeting

Two things: (1) The audience that you want to target initially didn’t respond well to your brand, and (2) you want new customers from a different or more specific demographic.Either way, a brand refresh can help you achieve both of these goals.A brand refresh due to retargeting will affect your brand positioning, which will involve:

  • Platform (what you represent or your mission)
  • Promise (what you want your customers to feel)
  • Values (how you behave while you deliver your promise)
  • Personality (what and how you communicate)
  • Positioning (how you position your brand to target consumers)

The key to retargeting is to know why you want to sell your product or service in the first place. After that, you have to allow the people to feel something when they see your purpose, as this will affect how they interact with your business.This is crucial for Ecommerce businesses because of competitors and you only have the content of your channels to do the selling.If your brand fails to speak what you want to convey, then you’re going to have a tough time selling your brand. In this case, a brand refresh can be beneficial for your business.

How to Effectively Rebrand Your Business

analyze and optimize your brand refresh

Now that you know when to rebrand or brand refresh your business, we’ll help you conduct them effectively so that you don’t throw away precious time. Let’s begin with running an effective rebrand.

Step 1: Research and Reanalyze

To know where to start rebranding, you have to reevaluate the current state of your business. The best way to do this is to gather the data you already have.You can start by conducting a competitive (or competitor) analysis.Although, most likely, you’ve already conducted a competitive analysis before. However, if it’s been more than a couple of years since you did, you need to perform another analysis because your competitors change.Still, you can use that old data to see what you and your competitors changed, and if you can incorporate those into your business.After that, analyze the current behavior of your consumers and target market. This includes data on how your past marketing and sales campaigns performed.The data will give you an idea of what part of your business needs change.The last thing you need to reanalyze is your business’ goals and mission. Are they still what your business is trying to achieve? Does your Ecommerce business still reflect what you stand for? Do you want to focus on other, broader, or specific parts of your business?

Step 2: Brainstorm

You can never accomplish a rebrand by yourself, which means you have to be receptive to each other’s feedback and ideas. After all, any successful rebrand always has a dedicated team working behind the scenes.Every member of your team must be informed about at least the summary of the data you have gathered. This will save you time and effort, as everyone will more likely pitch ideas relevant to the goal of the rebrand.During brainstorming, everything must be adequately documented so that you don’t lose ideas that could be your ticket to a successful Ecommerce business.After the brainstorming, you must go back to Step 1 and conduct a financial analysis. This will give you an expectation about the costs, and if the rebrand fits the budget.

Step 3: Execute

Executing the concepts or strategies that you have brainstormed about is where most of the action happens. This may or may not involve a redesign of the logo or website, revamping your content, introducing new products or services, and much more.Another thing that you can incorporate in the execution process — although not entirely necessary — is testing out the changes.Through testing, you can have a clearer picture of how your target demographic will react to the changes before you market your rebranding.

Step 4: Market

Your customers need to know that your business is undergoing a rebranding process. Think of it as reintroducing yourself to someone you already know, but you have a different face.If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you can put up signs about your rebranding. For Ecommerce channels, notify them by publishing press releases, sending out emails, or adding a banner on your website or app.Now, at this point in your rebranding process, you may still be conducting the execution process. This will give you time to think about how you will market your rebrand.Gather all the marketing tools that you will need to communicate your message. Moreover, make sure that all those tools follow your new brand strategy through KPIs.After marketing your rebrand, gather all the data of your KPIs and see how your target customers responded. If the data tells you that you still have areas that need much improvement, do it before you relaunch.

Step 5: Relaunch

After your first day of relaunching, you must collect all the necessary data about the performance of your rebrand. Again, you must be aware of all your KPIs to determine whether your efforts were successful or not.Conduct in-depth financial, sales, and marketing analysis. If your rebrand results in a failure, find out what you missed and which part of the rebrand didn’t convert well and change it accordingly.

How to Refresh Your Brand

A brand refresh doesn’t involve drastic changes and in-depth procedures. All you need to do is make small but necessary changes to improve your brand or product’s performance. Here are the steps you need to follow when you brand refresh.

Step 1: Research and Strategize

Similar to rebranding, you have to research to ensure your brand refresh will be worth it.You can start by listing down the things that you want to change in your brand with more specific buyer personas in mind.Why are you conducting a brand refresh in the first place?You can collaborate with your teams to give you valuable information about your actual buyer personas.If you want more initial data, you can also start by performing a competitive analysis, which will also include an honest examination of your business. Compare your strengths and weaknesses and take note of the things you can incorporate into your business.Next, look for the latest trends that you can use to tackle your reasons for a brand refresh. Incorporate what you’ve gathered in your research into a strategy or action plan.

Step 2: Apply Necessary Updates

Second step to brand refresh is to apply the necessary updates. Apply the updates based on the information you’ve gathered and the strategy you’ve formulated. More often than not, these updates will involve changes in either or both visual identity and messaging.Since you’re an Ecommerce company, most changes in visual identity will involve your logo, website, app, or email templates. Be careful about making drastic changes in your brand refresh because if there’s anything more noticeable than your messaging, it’s your visuals.Meanwhile, changes in your message may be a simple content update on your homepage or something more complex, like switching to a different tone-of-voice or perspective. Regardless, keep in mind that your messaging must be truthful to your business’ identity.At the same time, a brand refresh on your messaging can also help support your visual updates. Your customers will appreciate a good explanation of the essence of the brand refresh.

Step 3: Analyze and Optimize

The final and most tedious part of a brand refresh is the analysis and optimizing stage. Not only does it require you to be patient in waiting for results, but you also need to be receptive to how your customers respond to the refresh.The best way to analyze and optimize your brand refresh is to conduct A/B testing. This will give you information about the effectiveness of any change that you apply to your brand.Now, after analyzing the results of your brand refresh, you have to optimize if there are still parts of your refresh that need to be improved. Additionally, document the results just in case you need to conduct another refreshing in the future.

Continuous Business Growth Backed by Data

Ecommerce businesses stand on the foundation of data-based decisions, including brand refreshing and rebranding.Without your data, you risk sitting in the shadows of your competitors as you’ll only be copying what they are doing.Therefore, to stand out, you have to know how to receive, respond to, and integrate whatever form of feedback you receive into your Ecommerce strategies.If you need help with your rebranding or brand refresh, put your trust on Ecommerce service providers like KDCI!

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