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Mergers and Acquisitions

There are few times in the history of an organization that are as profoundly disruptive as a merger or an acquisition.

MAKING INFORMED DECISIONS

In the case of a true merger, when two separate entities combine to create a new, joint organization with a new management team, disruption could not be more profound. Everything changes. A new company is being formed, a new reality has to be created.

In such cases, the new executive team has to make critical, long-term decisions about the future. It’s not a time for guesswork and intuition. BrandingBusiness recommends in-depth brand equity and culture evaluations as part of the due diligence process to ensure executives have the necessary information they need to make key strategic decisions about their brand.

A BESPOKE METHODOLOGY

We developed the Brand Performance Platform™, an advanced research methodology specifically for B2B companies, to evaluate corporate brands from the buyer perspective and provide the facts on which critical brand decisions can be made with confidence. The Brand Performance Platform™ has been used with breakthrough success for clients such as Tech Data, Cisco, Elsevier, Peer 1, FactSet, Huawei, and ZS Associates, among others.

The Brand Performance Platform™ addresses such questions as:

  • How strong are the individual brands?
  • Can either of the two be elevated to represent the new company?
  • Does either have a role?
  • Do we need a new name?
  • How can we position the new company most effectively to drive growth?
CULTURALLY UNIFIED AND CLEARLY ARCHITECTED

Culture plays a key role in the post-merger integration process. Employees need to be unified around a common view of the future and shared values. Benchmarking culture provides a picture of the terrain, identifying peaks of commonality and valleys of dissonance, and a map of where to focus brand initiatives internally.

The question of accumulated legacy brands and how to integrate them also becomes a pressing issue in post-merger integration. We have undertaken complex Brand Portfolio Assessments and Brand Architecture restructurings for large, global companies such as Tech Data, Elsevier, Saint-Gobain and Microsoft. Which brands are strong and merit investment? Which brands are weak and should be consolidated or retired? And, most importantly, what is the framework in which future decisions can be made?

REDEFINING ACQUISITIONS

Acquisitions are usually more straightforward. Although often characterized as mergers, an acquisition is usually the case of a smaller company being absorbed by the acquiring company and ceasing to exist. Its assets become part of the larger company.

But sometimes an acquisition can be so significant as to be strategically redefining for the acquiring company. A point is reached where it needs to evaluate and revitalize its brand and reposition it in the market in line with the new business reality and direction, which is often spurred by digital technology. In this case, the corporate brand, validated with research, has to be entirely repositioned. Logo tweaks and new taglines alone won’t do the trick.

GUIDING COMPANIES THROUGH CHANGE

During times of change, the question of corporate brand becomes an insistent issue that demands attention – who are we, where are we going, and why should the world care? As a specialist in B2B brand strategy, our focus is on guiding companies through change. We have more than 25 years of experience, working with world-leaders in the area of merger and acquisition branding.

Done correctly, rebranding can be transformational. It can facilitate strategic change. It can define, articulate and expedite a journey along a new direction while, most critically, provide the cultural and communications framework in which strategy is realized and change is delivered.