Understanding Refresh vs. Rebrand Program Work in Construction

A common term in commercial construction is “rebranding.” However its exact meaning or applicability to building may be unclear to some. So to explain rebranding, let’s start by clarifying exactly what “branding” can mean in this usage.

When most people think of brands, they think of logos and signage. They think of McDonald’s “golden arches,” and Nike’s “swoosh.” They think of the iconic Apple logo which no longer even spells out the brand name Apple itself. However brands are more than just a logo. Brands represent a company, a product, but they are actually the consumers’ perception of that company or product. Sure, the company is represented by its logo, but the total brand can include the company’s tagline, its products, its customer service, its web presence, its signage, storefronts and buildings. But really, a brand amounts to its experiences and associations within the customers’ minds. And the process of planning, creating and outputting those associations is what we call branding.

Refresh vs. Rebrand Program Work in ConstructionIn commercial construction, this work is taken to a far more specific level.

Many companies – especially in retail and franchises – have multiple locations. Because branding is valuable, it is also important that the brand be consistently represented across a corporation’s multiple locations. This means that the buildings’ architecture and interior design should be consistent. The flooring and lighting should match. The colors and textiles should be consistent. And of course, the facade and signage should also match from location to location. All of this applies to the overall customer experience for the brand. And all of this also involves construction.

When a company first goes through its branding process for a building, an architect (or design-build contractor) is involved to design the building itself to fit the company, its brand attributes, its employees, market segment and customer base, and of course building needs. Once the building is designed and approved, it is built to specs for the flagship location. After construction and approval, the plans can then be transferred and built for additional locations. All of this makes up the branding process for commercial construction.

Branding, however, is not a once-and-done activity. Not in marketing, and not in construction. After every few years, customers tire of an old “brand experience.” Trends change. Fashions change. Customer expectations change. And companies do their best to court new customers to their stores and offices. Every few years, companies should be “rebranded” to fit the times and their changing customer base. And this means updating potentially everything in a business location as far as construction goes.

Rebranding for company locations in construction can include new:

  • Signage
  • Flooring
  • Wall coverings or colors
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Furniture
  • Walls or dividers
  • Industrial equipment
  • Building facade

Because so much can be involved in construction rebranding, often buildings are gutted or turned into a “white box” before the revisions are implemented. This can mean removing and cleaning out everything, pulling old signage, knocking out walls, pulling up old flooring, and painting walls white. All of this before the new design plans are applied for construction rebranding.

Because a company’s time is money, and because it can be hard to do business and acquire revenue when a location is down, sometimes companies opt to simply do a brand “refresh” as opposed to rebranding an entire location or locations. A refresh is often much smaller in scope than a full rebranding commercial construction process. A refresh can include just one or some of the construction rebranding elements listed above. A refresh wouldn’t need to turn a building into a white box before applying the new construction requirements. A refresh could be as simple as new wall finishings, furnishing or flooring.

Want more? Read about Buildrite’s renovation construction services.