Does Your Interior Design Business Need a Brand Refresh?


Did you recently relocate your interior design firm? Has your business model changed over time? Are your target audience and ideal client avatar evolving? Maybe it’s time for a brand refresh!

Your firm shouldn’t have to rebrand every time you open a studio, start a product line or reach other key milestones. However, your interior design business’s messaging must match its current offerings, mission and culture.

A successful brand not only conveys a company’s core values and visual identity, but also its value proposition. The brand you crafted when first starting your interior design firm might not make sense several years later. It could be due for an update.

We explain how to refresh your brand, so you can connect with existing clients and new audiences in an authentic way without entirely rebranding.

Brand Refresh vs. Rebrand

learning the difference between rebrand and brand refresh important to creating a recognizable brand identity

A rebrand is when you change defining elements of a brand — i.e. its mission statement, values or vision — alongside key visual elements. Rebrands are usually accompanied by extensive, multifaceted marketing campaigns designed to redirect attention and alter consumer perception of the brand in question. A rebrand focuses on obtaining new customers — often by responding to current marketplace trends.

A brand refresh is when you update the brand to best reflect its current offerings and approach. This might include launching a new website, changing the company’s logos, simplifying color palettes and/or adding social media channels.

Put simply, the goal of a brand refresh is to ensure both the brand image and the brand messaging accurately communicates your brand’s identity. By bringing visual elements and messaging in line with your company’s identity, you can improve your firm’s brand positioning. In doing so, you are more likely to connect with your ideal client.

Brand refreshes differ from rebrands in that the fundamental building blocks of a company’s brand remain the same. A brand refresh preserves the company’s core mission, values, vision and/or messaging while improving its relevance and appeal amongst target customers.

When to Rebrand Your Design Business

If your business has evolved significantly in recent months, it might be time to rebrand. Has your company merged, been acquired by another company or experienced a change in leadership? A rebrand might be the right choice. Retiring or replacing a key service, product line or location might necessitate a rebrand.

A business anticipating major change could rebrand proactively. In her article “Time for Change: When to Rebrand and How to Begin the Process” for Business.com, Julie Thompson explains. Thompson writes that “a rebranding strategy may be part of your business growth plan.” She recommends rebranding if “you find your company performing…beyond your original intent or scope.”

Companies courting a completely new type of customer might rebrand. Those who are bound to an outdated brand identity that does not reflect their business model at all could take the rebrand route too. A brand that has sustained significant damage might also consider the rebranding process.

In some cases, a brand refresh might still be better than rebranding for reputation management in the wake of a scandal. A bit of bad press is no reason to completely undo all the hard work your brand strategists have done in the past.

In some cases, a full scale rebrand can actually damage customer retention instead of improving a company’s position in the competitive landscape.

When to Refresh Your Brand

If none of the above apply to your company, a refresh is probably more appropriate. It might be just what your interior design firm needs to best align the brand with your mission and current offerings.

Interior design business owners might choose to refresh their brand when opening a new interior design studio, offering a new service or eliminating a current branch of operations. For example, if your interior design studio starts taking on renovation projects in addition to interior design projects, you might explore a brand refresh.

However, a brand refresh is still a major undertaking with many potential consequences for your brand’s future. Carefully consider what your company might lose or gain by refreshing or rebranding before you proceed. Interior design firms should always weigh the pros and cons before taking such a significant leap.

Brand Refresh Checklist: How to Successfully Update Your Brand

Does Your Design Business Need a Brand Refresh? read our checklist for branding interior design firm
How to Build a Brand Guide that Enables Growth

At Design Dash, we focus on interior designers who want to grow their firms and establish a successful brand that adapts. As such, the following tips will describe how to approach a visual rebrand or brand refresh — not a complete rebrand.

Now, let’s get into the brand refresh process for interior designers.

Identify the Reason for Your Interior Design Branding Refresh

Before you begin, nail down the reasoning behind your planned refresh. Is your company expanding its scope — either in terms of services or geography? Did you eliminate a service or close a studio? Have you grown significantly or recently scaled back? Identifying the reason for your rebrand or brand refresh will help determine the complexity and extent of that update.

Audit the Existing Brand to Tailor Your Brand Refresh Strategy

Audit the Existing Brand to Tailor Your Brand Refresh Strategy and brand story.

Whether an update or full rebrand, don’t plunge head-first into the branding process without reflecting on the existing brand. Consider its strengths and limitations. Review current performance indicators and other metrics.

Talk to employees and/or conduct internal surveys. A brand sprint is a great way to get an idea of how well your internal team understands the existing brand and your signature style. It can also give you a good idea of how well they understand your goals for the brand’s future.

In addition, audit existing marketing campaigns, published content and other materials. Around this time, be sure to set goals for your visual rebrand or brand refresh. Adjust KPIs, so you can track the success of your brand refresh.

Review Your Interior Design Firm’s Mission Statement, Vision Statement and Overall Message

your mission statement is just as important as design elements

Make sure your mission statement, vision statement, core values and overall message still make sense before committing to either a rebrand or brand refresh. Start with your mission statement. A mission statement describes the who, what and where of your organization. It should speak directly to your company’s target market.

Has your company’s target market has changed, or have you opened a second studio location? If so, it might be time to update your mission statement as part of your brand refresh.

An organization might update its mission statement when it adds new services, adopts new technology or responds to changes in its industry. If your customers, employees or partners seem confused by the who, what, where and why of your organization, it might be time to refresh.

Chances are, a minor update will be enough to address any recent or upcoming changes. Just don’t fundamentally alter the core values or overall trajectory of your business. Check out our post “How to Adapt a Mission Statement As Your Business Grows” for more tips!

Don’t Overcorrect or Fall Prey to Recent Trends

your brand refresh should create branded environments across social media, websites and your actual interior design studio

Trying to keep your interior design firm current by adopting trends can damage your brand by making it less resilient to changes in consumer preference. When refreshing your brand and updating your brand guidelines, don’t fall prey to recent trends or overcorrect.

As Hilmon Sorey of ClozeLoop writes in this article for Forbes, “‘too many companies pursue a rebrand based upon today’s events, technology and customers.'” Sorey compares this approach to “‘naming a baby ‘Flippy’ because it’s cute when they are born, forsaking the inevitable growth and change to come.'”

Instead of reacting solely to current trends and consumer preferences when refreshing your brand, prioritize its longevity. After all, your brand’s competitive edge lies in how your company differs from others in the industry.

The pandemic taught us that in times of uncertainty, the best marketing strategy is to remain true to why your firm exists. Often, we’re distracted by the new, shiny thing when faced with economic pressures or a lull in our leads pipeline. But your audience could easily become confused with your new approach. Keep your messaging consistent so that your audience, and potential new clients, know what to expect when they are ready to work with you.

Melissa Grove, LUDC Chief Operating Officer

Be conservative when making changes to the brand — especially when your company is expanding. During periods of success and growth, changing too swiftly can test customer loyalty.

It could also create a disconnect between your brand identity, potential clients and the company itself. In other words, try not to “throw the baby out with the bath water.” You can maintain relevance and generate buzz without taking off in a totally different direction.

Prioritize Your Vision for the Brand Over Retaining the Wrong Clients

Prioritize Your Vision for the Brand Over Retaining the Wrong Client

Consider how your ideal client avatar and target audiences may have changed over the last few years. Be prepared to update your brand to reflect those changes and appeal to ideal clients. Don’t compromise your vision for the future of your company based on requests from clients who might not be ideal for your firm.

Not every client you currently work with — nor prospective clients — will be the right fit for your brand. It’s important to prioritize your brand over retaining clients who don’t identify with your approach to design.

Alert Existing Customers and Past Clients to Upcoming Changes

As an interior designer, you must alert Existing Customers and Past Clients to Upcoming Changes in your visual branding

Attracting prospective clients in an emerging target market is important when rebranding or refreshing your interior design brand. However, one must be careful not to alienate or confuse current or past interior design clients.

As Tony Pec of Y Not You Media writes in an article for Forbes, rebranding could risk “brand equity you’ve built with your audience.” Communicate plans for your firm’s future with current and past clients to ensure they continue to feel supported, represented and well-served by your brand.

Inform Investors and Train Employees Before Launching

Inform Investors and Train Employees Before launching your new brand

Similarly, inform investors and train employees before announcing the rebrand or brand refresh to the public. It is especially important to address disconnects between company culture and branding before your launch.

In his article “Brand refresh checklist” for Dusted, Paul Marten explains. Marten writes that companies often fail “to adequately communicate the intentions behind a brand refresh to stakeholders like employees [and] partners.” Each stakeholder must see “how a brand refresh will boost growth and improve the business’s offering.”

Adequately communicating the catalyst for your rebrand or brand refresh is vital to ensure stakeholders do not oppose the update. Consult your team to ensure everyone understands upcoming changes, knows how to implement them and supports the brand’s new direction. After all, your interior design firm’s employees are its greatest brand ambassadors.

Update Blog Posts and Curate Social Media Content to Ensure Consistency

Update Blog Posts and Curate Social Media Content to Ensure Consistency in a branded environment

Before announcing your brand refresh, be sure to update blog posts and curate social media content to ensure consistency. Replace images that bear your old logo, color palette and other brand elements with your new logo, color palette and more.

Eliminate or update irrelevant blog posts that no longer reflect your current brand strategy and/or the company’s current offerings. However, be sure to consider how removing posts could impact your blog’s SERP positioning for relevant keywords.

This resource from Grammarly Business explains “how to maintain brand consistency across multiple channels.” According to Grammarly, “as many as 95% of customers use three or more channels in just one interaction with a brand.” Given this, it is vital to maintain your company’s brand identity across its website, social media channels, print ads and email or app campaigns.

Express Different Parts of Your Interior Design Brand Personality on Different Platforms

Though consistency is key, it is important to note that your own brand voice might change slightly from platform to platform. This is not disingenuous. You are simply communicating with users of each specific platform in a manner to which they are accustomed.

Tailoring the ways in which you talk about your company and its offerings can help you get the most out of each channel. Just be sure to reflect your company’s values, communicate its mission and stay on brand.

Refactor the Ratio of Content You Produce

Refactor the Ratio of Content You Produce to better serve your business

You might be planning to add a service, location or otherwise expand your business. Maybe you already have!

If so, consider refactoring the ratio of content you produce to focus on these new offerings shortly after refreshing your brand. Of course, continue to produce content that highlights your existing services.

Cross-reference existing and new services, locations or other offerings. Monitor public response to both and refactor the ratio again once you have analyzed that data.

Consider Separating Your Marketing Activities If Creating a Sub-Brand

Alternatively, you might consider separating your marketing activities. Interior design brands with multiple services — i.e. product design and interior design — often choose to separate marketing activities on social media sites and websites.

This could make sense if adding a subsidiary, offering a completely different service or opening a new studio. You might choose to build a separate website, draft separate newsletters, post on separate social media channels as your company grows. This helps deliver a slightly different brand experience to your target client depending on the division — i.e. e-commerce, interior design, etc.

However, the approach described above would be more like creating a sub-brand than rebranding or refreshing your current brand. If you do decide to separate marketing activities, make sure you check that the appropriate handles and sites are available before doing so.

Make Sure Everything is Consistent Before Going Live

Consider Separating Your Marketing Activities If Creating a Sub-Brand

As noted above, inconsistency in your brand identity breeds confusion — potentially alienating future clients and confusing current customers. A strong brand is consistent in its visual presence, voice and attitude.

Try not to rush through your rebrand or brand refresh. Make sure everything is consistent — across all channels, platforms, marketing materials and printed documents — before going live.

As Liz Fieno writes in a Kalungi post, don’t “publish your website or launch a social media channel [unless] everything bears the new branding.” Check everything from tear sheets, email signatures and invoice headers to all social media accounts and every tab on your website.

Fieno recommends “making sure everything is consistent internally too [as] this will ease the transition.” It will also prevent your employees from “accidentally [using] outdated materials.”

Announce the Launch of an Updated Website or New Social Media Presence

Last but certainly not least, announce your brand refresh! Don’t try to slip the changes past anyone. As Amanda Bowman writes in an article for Entrepreneur, “even the most incredible rebrand is wasted if you never actually launch it.”

Take pride in how you have updated your company’s brand to reflect its evolution. Explain why you have refreshed the brand or be explicit about changes if you have created a completely new brand.

Are You Considering a Brand Refresh?

want to share your brand refresh examples with other designers in the design industry?

If you’re weighing a brand refresh as your company grows and changes, tell us all about it in the comments below! Already drafting your brand refresh strategy? We want to hear about that too.

Join our private Facebook group to continue the conversation.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Laura Umansky

I'm Laura

As an interior design business owner, I understand how challenging this industry can be and how hard it is to find success. For the past 15 years, I have grown my award-winning firm from a party of one (just me!) to a talented team of over 20, with two brick-and-mortar studios. And through it all I experienced set backs and the loneliness that comes with being an entrepreneur. That’s why I’m sharing all my tips and tricks on the blog. Success shouldn’t be a secret. Find your reliable path to sustainable, profitable growth right here.




Download my 10-step checklist and find out if you’re ready to grow your design business

These are the top things you must consider before you start on your growth journey.