A roadmap for M&A brand success.
Mergers and acquisitions can be as exciting as they are challenging. How do you navigate the brand complexities after a merger?
Having helped £1bn+ global businesses to align their products, solutions and brands following M&As, we understand the common complexities and how to create brand success for you.
Here’s our guide to five of the key brand challenges and how to overcome them.
Challenge 1: Brand identity confusion
Mergers often result in unclear identities.
When two distinct brands come together or merge into a new entity, maintaining a clear and consistent brand identity becomes challenging. Customers and employees may find it difficult to understand what the brand stands for, what its values are, and what promises it makes.
Solution: audit your brands.
Start by conducting senior stakeholder and customer interviews to find the commonalities before crafting a brand that employees can get behind and customers will love.
Challenge 2: Customer uncertainty
Mergers create confusion among customers.
They may wonder whether the products or services they've come to know and love will remain the same. This uncertainty can lead to customer dissatisfaction and even result in a loss of business, as customers may seek alternatives. And this can be business critical if you have a large reliance on a partner and reseller network, who can be confused what they are now reselling to customers.
Solution: multi-channel campaigns.
Create multi-channel campaigns with messaging that will reassure and retain customers by helping them understand the context of the M&A and the exciting opportunities it brings.
Challenge 3: Product/solution alignment
Aligning products/solutions is critical.
Auditing products and solutions and aligning them strategically will identify synergies, eliminate redundancies, and create a unified product portfolio that leverages the strengths of both organizations. Effective product/solution alignment can lead to a stronger and more competitive offering, better serving the needs of existing and potential customers, while also maximizing the value derived from the merger or acquisition.
Solution: product and solution mapping
Conducting product and solution mapping can easily result in teams getting lost for months in Excel hell. Our strategists know how to simplify the process to create frameworks that bring clarity to employees, sales teams and customers.
Challenge 4: Competitive positioning
Defending your territory
During a merger, competitors may seize the opportunity to exploit any brand disruptions. If your brand is weakened or unclear during this transitional phase, you risk losing market share. Staying vigilant and maintaining your competitive positioning is crucial.
Solution: find the white space
Find the white space for the brand’s new positioning vs competitors. Once you’ve found this territory, create a value proposition that can be used as the North Star for the organisation's distinctness.
Challenge 5: Employee engagement
Building cultural bridges
Employees from both companies can experience unease about their roles and the brand’s future. When there's a lack of engagement and alignment with the new brand, it can impact productivity and morale. Disconnected teams may struggle to embrace a unified brand culture.
Solution: inspiring internal narrative
When it comes to employee communications, create an inspiring internal narrative along with a full comms plan of assets that will reassure and excite employees about their roles in the newly formed company.
In navigating these challenges, having a well-defined brand integration strategy is essential.
This strategy should include a:
• comprehensive brand assessment
• defined brand positioning
• clear communication plan
• employee training program
• regular analysis against KPIs
bbp can be your trusted brand partner throughout the M&A process, setting you up for long-term success.