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Posts by James Burn

Following a large uptick in technology mergers, acquisitions, and rebrands over the past few years such as the split of HP, Dell/EMC, Western Digital/Hitachi and others, I found myself contemplating the complexities of these conversions. At first glance, rebranding implementation at tech companies might seem like a breeze as most assets seem to be digital.  Marketers focus on rebranding websites, social media, sales, marketing materials and IT assets and systems to reflect the new brand. At first take, these kinds of tasks seem to lie squarely in the wheelhouse of many tech companies.

Successfully getting the approval for a rebranding program by the board and or leadership team may depend entirely on how the costs affect fiscal-year operating income. If a CMO goes into a board meeting and proposes a multimillion dollar rebranding budget with the entire cost hitting the P & L in the current fiscal year, it may be much more difficult to get approval than if he or she takes a financial planning stance that spreads the costs over a number of fiscal periods.

When architects create a conceptual design for a structure, they talk with clients, take a few measurements, and come up with a floor plan that documents a grand strategy. But the initial plan, even once approved, remains pie in the sky until a host of added data and additional measurements are obtained. Builders of the new structure will need specifics on everything from building materials to electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and so on. Only when they get the so-called “working drawings” can they get started with moving dirt, pouring concrete, and erecting walls.

Marketing executives charged with managing a company-wide brand transition know that the journey from project start to new brand launch can feel like a roller coaster ride. Corporate rebranding is a risky venture because it impacts a company’s reputation, its brand value, its employees and customers, and more.