Greater than the sum of its parts.
In 2014 Wolters Kluwer, a global leader in professional information services, acquired Datacert, a leading enterprise legal software company, and planned to merge it with TyMetrix, a business acquired a few years earlier.
As the two largest brands in the legal services industry, Datacert and TyMetrix had been ﬁerce competitors, often positioning themselves against each other. Combined, the two entities would become the indisputable market leader by size. The challenges for BrandingBusiness were multiple: what to name the newly merged entity, how to reconcile and preserve the value of the two legacy businesses—and on what rational basis, how to integrate two employee groups who had been competitors, and what was the new business narrative to frame the merger as more than the sum of its parts.
In parallel, the parent company, Wolters Kluwer, was in the midst of a global branding program of its own—one that would ultimately absorb acquired brands in a monolithic brand architecture: the marriage between Datacert and TyMetrix would also have to be considered in the context of the Wolters Kluwer end game.
As pioneering innovators in ELM, Datacert and TyMetrix had a shared vision for the market: an enterprise-level technology solution to help make legal organizations more eﬃcient and intelligent in their operations—a kind of ERP for the legal industry. This oﬀer, supported by deep domain expertise and the collaboration and data collection capabilities that their products enabled, formed a compelling value proposition to law industry professionals looking to improve the operational performance of their legal departments and law ﬁrms.
This newly combined business was thus poised to continue to drive and shape the evolution of the ELM industry. BrandingBusiness’ solution to the thorny naming challenge was to repurpose the acronym for the very term that Datacert had coined – Enterprise Legal Management – ELM and appending Solutions. The resulting appellation, ELM Solutions, recognized the Datacert contribution to the new brand (albeit a bit subliminally), fulﬁlling a kind of diplomatic dimension to the renaming. At the same time, the name was generic enough not to compete with the parent brand that would endorse it. In that sense, it dovetailed with corporate brand strategy, signaled industry ownership, and delivered an olive branch to the ‘acquiree.’
This solution allowed the new business to avail itself of the superior awareness levels and equity of the Wolters Kluwer global brand. Reciprocally, it signaled unequivocally that Wolters Kluwer was a player—and a leading one—in the ELM space. BrandingBusiness’ messaging work helped to emphasize the business units visionary technology platform and thought leadership, and its focus on delivering actionable insight to the legal profession. To complement and bring to life this strategy, and to give the BU its own distinctive hue, BrandingBusiness created a dynamic new visual toolkit, thoughtfully rooted in and close to Wolters Kluwers brand identity vocabulary.
Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions launched at LegalTECH 2015 – the largest and most signiﬁcant tradeshow in the legal technology industry. The new brand – and new name – were received enthusiastically by employees and the market alike, and the dynamic look and feel helped attract the attention of attendees throughout the event. ELM Solutions continues to roll out the new brand using regular internal communications and a brand video explaining the renewed value proposition.
Scope of Work