Unlocking Enterprise Value of Platform Investments Through Branding

As evidenced by research, a strong brand strategically positioned to lead in the competitive landscape drives accelerated growth, improved profitability, and ultimately valuation multiple expansion.

By combining extensive merger and acquisition experience with a track record of successful brand-building for platform investments, we empower private equity firms to ramp up newly acquired brands, organize and position roll-ups, or prepare their companies for an IPO with revitalized identities and narratives.

We’ve partnered with leading private equity firms, working with them across a range of industries.
We help private equity firms maximize investment returns by addressing a range of their branding needs.
  • Creating challenger brands for early-stage companies
  • Naming a roll-up and positioning the brand for success
  • Assessing brand equity and guiding brand decisions for mergers
  • Re-positioning and launching a brand for accelerated growth
  • Crafting messaging that cuts through market noise to increase sales effectiveness
  • Assessing, rationalizing, and optimizing a brand portfolio – including roll-ups – for enhanced efficiency and market clarity
  • Developing a compelling strategic corporate narrative in preparation for an IPO
  • Addressing post-merger cultural synergies and integration
Working alongside both financial sponsors and company leaders, we create value at the intersection of business and brand, using data-informed strategic thinking to drive decision making.

Each brand challenge and value creation plan have unique characteristics that require the dedication of hands-on, experienced professionals. Our senior team brings proprietary research methodologies and decades of strategic insight to leverage brand assets and reimagine the brand experience to create market clarity and drive growth.

Unlocking brand value: eight key insights derived from our 25-year experience of working with private equity firms.

There is no formula for creating successful brands and ensuring that firms realize the growth goals of their investments. But based on our 25 years of experience working with private equity firms, we can point to eight areas that are always part of our approach to building successful brands for them. 

1. Brands must be aligned with investment goals and the business strategy right from the beginning.

We begin every engagement with a Strategic Alignment Workshop. This includes participation by both investors and key executives and is designed to discuss in detail questions such as:

  • What is the investment thesis and what are the valuation levers that will matter most?
  • What is the market opportunity and what can the business become in the future?
  • What is the growth strategy to realize the opportunity and what brand strategy is best suited to support it?

The workshop provides a forum for critical conversation and serves to ensure that investors and executive management are aligned on goals, opportunities, and expectations about the brand and the business.

2. Alignment between company management and the private equity firm is essential to the successful development and roll out of a brand strategy.

At BrandingBusiness, every project is supported by the constitution of a Brand Council. Participated in by investors and key executives, the Council is responsible for direction and decision-making throughout the duration of the project. This avoids surprises at the end of the project and provides a forum for the investors and the executive team to be constantly aligned. Brand Council members provide expert-level input and perspectives at key decision points and help to achieve successful, company-wide support and buy-in.

3. Use data to remove subjectivity and instill confidence in the direction defined by the brand strategy.

To give investors and executive teams confidence in the direction of a brand strategy, we developed a powerful data-driven brand evaluation, monitoring, and decision-support methodology: the Brand Performance Platform™.

The platform is designed to quantitatively assess brand equity, measure brand power within the sales cycle, and identify the best attributes to build a brand in close alignment with the growth opportunity.

4. Choreograph the brand plan.

A brand strategy is only as good as its implementation, and several breaking points can happen that hamper a strategy’s effectiveness. The creation of a strategic brand roadmap and implementation plan enables all parties to orchestrate initiatives across functional areas and create clarity on how and when the brand is to be utilized.

5. Empower sales, marketing, and the executives to tell the brand story.

In today’s digital environment, everybody is in sales. Tools alone, while necessary, are not enough. Storytelling is everything. That’s where a Strategic Corporate Narrative has proven to be a powerful tool. 

The Narrative is a strategic document that articulates and contextualizes a company’s business vision against the emerging market opportunity. The narrative weaves together expert perspectives, market data, technology trends, and the company’s own thought leadership and strategic initiatives. The result is a compelling view of the future which frames the unique role and value of a company, making it logical and desirable to both employees and customers.

The Narrative provides the basis for thought leadership plans, sales training, and outreach—all working together to communicate and reinforce the brand story.

6. Pay attention to the two Cs: culture and communications.

Mergers and acquisitions combined with the enhanced pressure to deliver on investment expectations always brings significant tension and change. A cultural integration plan is often necessary. What’s also necessary is constant and consistent communications at all levels to deliver the rational foundation for change and build emotional buy-in.

7. Build brands to lead and dominate the category (or create a new one).

Whether it’s an acquisition, a roll-up of several companies, or a merger, the best brand strategy is the one that reframes completely how to think about the problem that a business solves and the benefit it delivers.

8. A brand strategy is only as good as the website: invest in a strong digital presence.

Today, the website is the primary entry point into a brand and business environment. It has evolved into a relationship center where people experience the brand to learn, interact, and make significant purchases or career decisions.

Yet, while the new primacy of the website is clear, far too many B2B companies still regard the website as an afterthought, something to be addressed at the end of a branding program as a launch item. As a result, it is often significantly under-budgeted, and the outcome is far from adequate to meet new customer expectations.