Branding 101: Rebranding versus Brand Extensions

Branding 101


A common miscommunication between businesses and their marketers are the meanings behind “rebranding” and “brand extension.” This is because the two terms share a common idea: updating the business’s current branding efforts. But the differences in their meanings can lead to larger confusion and tension between a brand and their marketing team. Read through the brief summaries below to clarify the terms for your next marketing meeting.


Rebranding is a total tear down and rebuild. With rebranding comes a major image overhaul: identity, messaging, etc. This is generally the option chosen if a business needs a “fresh start” for any number of reasons. Rebranding invites people to check out what you have changed and possibly open the door to invite in new segments that you could appeal to with the implemented changes.

Brand Expansion

A brand expansion is less of a total tear down and more of an addition to your pre-existing brand. A company’s brand expansion will, therefore, make minor changes to their image, and begin offering a “different” product or service. The “different” offering can be a modified past offering or a completely new one! As a whole, the expansion is meant to reach into a new and relevant territory to attract a new audience.


The decision to execute a brand expansion or rebranding process rests solely in your company’s lap. It is important to understand your objectives and communicate it to your marketing team accurately so everyone can approach the project from the same starting point.

If you need help identifying which brand refresher your business needs, sign up for our free Marketing Snapshot! Or if you need a marketing team of your own, call 630-456-0827.

Excerpted from Dave McIndoe of the Forbes Agency Council, “‘Do You Need A Rebrand Or A Brand Extension?”