When a new company name, brand identity, or visual language is created for an established company to change the way people think about it.
Here's an analogy.
A rebrand is like a makeover. It’s time for a makeover when the way you present yourself doesn’t jive with the person you’ve become or the person you want to be. Done well, makeovers change the way your are seen and even change the way you see yourself.
Why does it matter?
Businesses, products, and markets change. So do design sensibilities. What was perceived as an innovative look in 1995 looks dated today. Done well, rebrands demonstrate the business is alive, changing, and reinvesting in itself to stay relevant. It is also a valuable way for an organization to signal to the world something has changed with the business. A final note: rebrands don’t necessarily require new brand identities. It’s sometimes just as effective to revitalize the way existing elements are being used.
How does it apply?
Companies can think about rebrands on several levels. Small adjustments might warrant a brand refresh, where only a few elements change. Other times, a business might want a brand evolution, which can change more of the look and feel of the brand without revolutionizing it. At the far end of the spectrum is a true rebrand, where an entirely new brand is unveiled.