For companies, changes in the industry and marketplace are inevitable. However, it’s not very often that companies adapt to these changes through their brand adjusting branding strategies and initiatives. In fact, it’s essential to change your brand’s image if it doesn’t reflect the current trends of your customers. Companies that do not adapt to these changes often lose market share and the competitive edge necessary to attract customers.

So how do you do a brand refresh? The first step is to look at your logo design. The logo is a representation of a company and is probably used in almost every piece of advertising and marketing. All the biggest companies have changed their logo to keep up with the times. Some of the most well known examples include Anheuser Busch, Pepsi, Starbucks and BMW, just to name a few.

To start the process of changing your logo, you have to look at your current logo and see if it reflects the current market atmosphere. For instance, a car manufacturer would try to make their logo exemplify dependability and safety if they wanted to capture car buyers that are looking for those features. A technology company may use a web 2.0-esque logo to show that they are edgy, interesting and innovative. Each market has its own defined guidelines.

Take a look at your corporate color scheme, tonality and graphics to see what can be changed. In the cases where the logo is too outdated, a complete brand refresh may be needed. If the logo is modern but doesn’t reflect what visual image of what customers want, the only things that may be needed could be simple changes. The perfect example of this is Ford’s logo. Over the years, they have made their logo brighter and font bigger to shed their image of an outdated car company.

Visual branding is also an important part of changing a corporate identity and image. This is a type of branding where all the design elements used to communicate with customers are changed to reflect a company’s core message and identity. This includes direct mail pieces, business cards, websites, and more.

In some cases, it might be a good decision to branch out with a sub-brand if a specific product or service has become recognizable on its own. A good example of this happening is Apple’s iPhone and iPod. The main point here is that it’s important to update your brand when the signs are there. The signs are when your company’s philosophy or goals have changed in the recent years and when your brand doesn’t reflect what happening in your industry and marketplace.