Rebranding After an Acquisition

By Bruce Hakutizwi

Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

So, you’ve survived the grueling M&A process, and you can officially call yourself “owner” of the company you’ve been coveting for months, or even years now. Is the hard part over?

Not necessarily.

In many cases, it’s wise to invest in re-branding and/or repositioning the organization after buying a business. This is especially true if the business was struggling due to misdeeds or poor judgment on the part of the previous owner or employees, or if their once-successful operation had flagged in popularity because they failed to evolve with the times.

But, rebranding and repositioning a business is no small task, and the challenges of doing so can be compounded by your status as a brand-new owner unless you’re well prepared and organized going into the effort.

So, if you’ve recently purchased a business that’s in need of a rebranding, or if you’re considering buying one that will need to be repositioned, here are some items to keep in mind to help make the entire transition easier and more successful.

Consider each brand’s pros and cons objectively

The brand consultancy, Landor, recently published their findings regarding rebranding following a merger or acquisition among the S&P 100 corporations over the last decade. While multi-billion-dollar deals are obviously going to be different from the smaller-scale acquisitions most American business owners will take on, the principles still apply.

One of the key takeaways from their study was the importance of a thorough, objective study of the brand equity on both sides of an acquisition with an eye toward consumer reaction following the merger.

When the acquisition in question involves a small or virtually unknown player being absorbed by a huge, ubiquitous brand (think Alphabet, Apple, or General Electric acquiring a hot tech startup or mobile app developer) then the results of this comparison will generally be a foregone conclusion: the smaller company announces how thrilled they are to be “part of the XYZ family” and the mega brand’s name and logo gets applied to everything immediately.

However, when a merger or acquisition is more a pairing of equals, or where one brand’s strengths heavily complement the other brand’s weaknesses, this evaluation becomes a little more complex.

“Ideally, this evaluation should take place concurrently with other financial evaluations before the deal is announced,” says Louis Sciullo, Executive Director of Financial Services at Landor, “Bringing in the CMO or others on the marketing team early in the process can help a company better understand how to approach an audience after the deal closes.”

There’s no room in this evaluation for sentimentality or purely personal preference. The focus needs to be on how your current and future customers are most likely to view the company after it’s been acquired and what marketing strategy is most likely to produce positive ROI in the long term.

Examples of when rebranding is likely the best choice

Limiting our discussion to small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the following examples illustrate situations where rebranding or repositioning of the new company probably makes a lot of Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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