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Acquisition Brand Change

Our competitive global economy — ripe for major transactions including mergers, acquisitions, splits spin-offs and affiliations — means every chief marketer can expect to manage a complex, large-scale rebranding at some point in his or her career. However, it is common for executives charged with leading a brand change to lack a clear line of sight into the financial and operational implications involved in these complex projects — even with a great depth of knowledge about the company and industry.

With M&A volume setting new records—over $5 trillion in deals in 2015, according to Dealogic—many branding, marketing, and communications professionals will be charged with implementing a rebranding project during their careers. Executives often ask me what the key is to setting up for success of a rebranding implementation. My answer is straightforward: Explore rebranding implications as soon as regulatory oversight and review of the deal begin.

Rebranding initiatives driven by a merger or acquisition can be the most challenging type to manage. If you’re a marketing pro who hasn’t yet experienced the fast-paced and often ambiguous nature of these rebranding scenarios, read on for some valuable tips we’ve gained by walking your peers down the “M&A brand change” path.

Welcome to the third article in our blog series about considerations and criteria for implementing a successful corporate rebrand project. Last week we talked about the need to present high level cost estimates and timeline scenarios to your organization’s executives while presenting your rebranding implementation strategy. Because accurate cost estimates rely on an exhaustive inventory of all your branded assets, this week we dive into some of the questions and decisions needed to enable the asset inventory and overall project scoping process.

The old saying that “timing is everything” couldn’t be more true when talking about branding. The desire to change brands can be the end result of an acquisition, merger, or another fundamental change in an organization’s business or goals for their business. These changes can happen suddenly and the timetable to change the brand name and reshape the brand’s goals can be a daunting challenge, especially when faced with strict deadlines.