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Author: claudia

Refresh? Rebrand? How? When?

Part 1 of 2

We’ve all come across the rebrand of one of our favourite brands at some point in our lives as consumers and users (I hate that word). Some of us have even shared our opinions on social media in a ranting critique and after a while realised that we were a bit harsh with our first impressions and have grown to identify better with the new branding.

I’ve certainly felt this way and I’m feeling it again now about the new Liqui-Fruit packaging even though I understand the strategic incentive for the change, “The revamped packaging aims to enhance shelf stand-out, highlight the freshness of real fruit ingredients and provide better differentiation between flavours. This is while maintaining its distinctive assets.”- Media Update 10 July 2023 Sometimes, it’s the initial shock of the change that causes the negative reactions and then we just ease into the ‘new look’ and sometimes not. This is the trick with rebranding.

To put us all on the same page, let me define the difference between a REBRAND and a REFRESH.

Rebranding is usually the complete overhaul of the brand’s identity with updated logos, taglines, typography, colour palettes, icons, imagery, and all visual assets.

Refreshing is a lighter update of the brand logo, typography, voice, tone, and overall style.

The goal for both forms part of the overall marketing strategy and the reasons behind the need for change can vary based on the objectives of the business.

Rebranding a business is a big decision and should you consider a rebrand or refresh of your business/brand identity, my advice is to choose a senior freelance consultant/team with experience who can offer you expertise and most valuable advice throughout the process.

If any of these points seem relevant to your business, it may be time to consider a rebrand or even just a refresh… have a squizz:

Strategic Shift: When your business undergoes a fundamental change in its mission, values, products, or target audience, a rebrand may be necessary to reflect these shifts accurately. A good example of this, in SA, was the FNB rebrand where the strategy was to transition towards and be recognised as a brand that extends beyond “just banking”.

Outdated Image: If your brand’s visual identity, messaging, or logo feels like it’s a bit tired and no longer resonates with your target audience, it might be time for a dynamic refresh. One of SA’s best-loved brands did just this without losing its brand equity when it launched some beautiful, relevant and refreshed packaging in 2016. In my opinion, Ouma Rusks hit the mark with this change.

Mergers and Acquisitions: When your company merges with or acquires another business, rebranding can help create a unified and cohesive identity for the newly combined entity. An example of this is a recent one that we can see populating the SA landscape is that of Caltex to Astron. “The name change and rebrand follows the 2018 change of ownership of Astron Energy and its exit from the Chevron group of companies. Since then, Astron Energy has been operating the Caltex brand under a licence agreement. The new corporate brand identity now sees all operations consolidated under a single, unifying brand.” – General Manager for Marketing, Cambridge Mokanyane

Negative Associations: If your brand has experienced a significant crisis, controversy, or negative public perception, rebranding can be a way to distance yourself from those issues and rebuild trust. Remember when SA suffered the listeriosis outbreak that was traced back to Polony manufactured by another one of the country’s favourite brands Enterprise? To save the brand’s reputation after that nasty incident it had to rebrand to ‘restore consumer confidence.’

Expansion into New Markets: When expanding into new geographic regions or markets with different cultural nuances, a rebrand can help ensure your message is culturally relevant and appealing. MTN did this with their branding with the core idea of, “…making connectivity more accessible and affordable to millions of people in Africa.”

Legal Issues: If your current brand name or logo faces trademark disputes or legal challenges, rebranding may be necessary to avoid legal complications. There was a recent case of this sort of infringement when iCollege took on Xpertease for the use of the word ‘iCollege’. It turned out to be a bit messy, which is reason enough to avoid any battles of this sort.

In Part 2 of this article, I will cover a few more reasons that may justify a brand refresh or total overhaul – seeking the guidance of branding experts or consultants can be invaluable in navigating the complexities of a rebranding initiative.

*VISUAL 8 PROMOTION* I have an offering that will provide you with a framework to ensure that your brand stays on track and that you have a clearer understanding of where you want to go with it, have a look…

If you are a solopreneur, entrepreneur or owner of a retail or corporate business and would like to know more about how you can leverage your brand’s potential, get in touch with me. I am able to offer retainers for clients who have a need for ongoing design, branding or advertising requirements at accessible pricing with payment terms suitable to your budget.

Email me at and visit my website at

The Perfect Blend: When design meets marketing in a perfect mix.

As technology becomes increasingly influential, the boundaries of traditional marketing need to stretch and evolve and multi-channel marketing campaigns should be carefully thought out to match the goals and objectives of the brand.

I’ve built Visual 8 as a nimble creative studio with a flexible structure that allows for solid collaboration with other industry specialists. In this way, I’m better equipped to develop great creative solutions that’s centred around the client’s needs. I run Visual 8 as an ambitious, creative freelancer and consultant with a love for all things ‘design’. I project manage and consult on all work that is briefed in and call on my network of outsourced expertise when and if required. This flexible structure allows you to engage with me as you would a traditional agency but on an ad-hoc basis. I’m personally involved in producing the best creative work and offering valuable advice throughout the process.

The services I offer are:

  • CREATIVE: Branding, Graphic Design and Advertising.

I have extensive experience and a thorough understanding of graphic design for both print and digital use. At Visual 8 I am able to offer graphic design for both Above-the-Line (ATL) and Below-the-Line (BTL) advertising.

  • DIGITAL: Website Design and Development, Digital and Social Media.

I have a good understanding of the link between digital communication and the human experience, in marketing and design. The vast reach of this media type and its ability to gauge immediate responses is overwhelming.

In collaboration with my tech-orientated associates, I take pride in creating clear and effective online communications to support your business growth strategy. Building an online presence specific to your brand is vital in the ever-changing tech landscape. Whatever digital services you are looking for, I am confident that I can help.

  • MARKETING: Marketing Plan and Strategy Outline

Think of your marketing strategy as the ‘recipe’ for your business. It lists all the ingredients you need to create success. Without a comprehensive outline of your marketing strategy that includes your business goals, you don’t have a solid foundation on which to formulate the marketing plan, which is effectively the ‘method’ you’ll use to achieve those goals effectively and will ensure a good return on investment (ROI).

I offer hand-holding Sessions to formulate a marketing strategy outline and help you plot out your marketing plan within your budget.

  • GIFTS: Bespoke Gift Concepts, Branded Gift Items, Corporate Clothing and Merchandise

An integral part of marketing and branding is the creation of industry-specific promotional merchandise. At Visual 8 I custom create or source branded gifts, rewards, prizes and giveaways for corporate and other clients. I am able to brand almost anything with your company or personal logo – all you have to do is imagine it. I’ve also custom designed and created some effective marketing tools, desk drops and 3D function invitations.

If you are an entrepreneur or owner of a retail or corporate business and would like to know more about how you can leverage your brand’s potential. I offer retainers for clients who need ongoing design, branding or advertising requirements at accessible pricing with payment terms suitable to your budget.

I don’t regularly send out emails and I am not a fan of spam but if you subscribe to my mailing list you’ll be notified of any news from my side.

Attention, visionary leaders of the corporate world!

If you have never thought of outsourcing the creative, digital and print media of your business to an experienced freelance graphic designer/art director I’m here to highlight how your company can greatly benefit by making the move. Say goodbye to traditional barriers and hello to a world open to limitless possibilities!

  1. Cost-effectiveness: Hiring me can be more cost-effective by comparison to maintaining a full-time, in-house designer. I typically work on a project or retainer basis, allowing companies to pay for the creative services I offer only when they are needed, avoiding the costs of salaries, benefits, and overhead expenses that come with hiring permanent employees for this work.
  2. Flexibility and Scalability: Working with me offers flexibility and scalability to corporate companies. I can be hired for specific projects or periods of high demand, allowing companies to adjust their design resources according to their needs. This flexibility is particularly useful when dealing with fluctuating workloads or when additional design expertise is required temporarily.
  3. Diverse Skill Sets: I have gathered a wide range of skills and experience, having worked on various projects across different industries and I have a network of trustworthy associates who I would recommend when and where needed. This diversity allows companies to work with specialised expertise, ensuring the availability of expert freelancers who can handle specific design, development, illustration, photographic or any other requirements.
  4. Fresh Perspectives and Creativity: Corporate design work can often become creatively restricting. As a freelance professional, I bring a fresh perspective to design projects. I am able to offer unique and creative ideas, even if they don’t fit the constraints of a specific corporate culture and maybe deviate slightly from the usual. This infusion of new ideas can help companies enhance their engagement with their target audience in new ways.
  5. Faster Turnaround Time: I am accustomed to working independently and managing my own schedule. This can result in faster turnaround times for design projects, as I focus solely on the task at hand without getting caught up in internal processes or bureaucracy. Quick turnaround times can be a great advantage when responding rapidly to market demands.
  6. Reduced Administrative Burden: I’m a service provider and I invoice from my business, Visual 8, to yours – it couldn’t be easier! Companies do not need to worry about recruitment, onboarding, training, or providing equipment and software. I work with my own computer and software, allowing companies to save time and resources in these areas.
  7. Global Access: I can be based anywhere in the world and so can you. Working remotely via online platforms has become the most effective way of doing business globally. I may just have the specialised skills and unique cultural perspective that aligns with your brand and target audience.

These benefits are certainly worth considering if your company is looking for a professional freelance partner for its internal communications, brand maintenance and marketing needs. I work towards establishing clear communication channels and project management structures to maintain consistent quality of creative work.

I offer monthly retainer packages at a competitive fee that are contract-based. These retainers allow for ad-hoc work to be done without the added fuss of per-project billing if that is preferred. I encourage you to get in touch with me to find out more. I never turn down a casual chat over coffee, even if it’s over Zoom.