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Merger Brand Change

When we work with clients during a rebranding, we often evaluate three different approaches, each with increasing cost and impact: “bronze,” “silver,” and “gold.” But you probably wonder: How often does a client choose just one of these options for all branded assets? Almost never.

Given the increasingly competitive and ever-changing global marketplace, it is reasonable to expect that most branding, marketing and corporate communications professionals will be charged with implementing a rebranding project resulting from a merger or acquisition during their career. Having led the creation and evolution of the discipline of brand implementation management over the majority of the past two decades, BrandActive has a wealth of detailed content to provide on this topic and this post is meant to cover the basics. We are always available to have this conversation, and when you’re given a mandate to oversee a cost-effective transition of two companies’ brands, this 10-step action plan provides a macro snapshot of what you should expect and plan for.

Last week I had the chance to engage with many of North America’s most respected healthcare marketing leaders, at the 2014 Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD) conference in San Diego, CA. ‘Patient experience’ was a hot topic and a focus of many conference sessions.

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.

Implementing brand change and rolling out updated branded assets across your entire organization is no easy feat. This entails ensuring that each instance of your old brand (name, logo, colors, icons, etc.) is changed across all your branded assets, including fleets, ID badges, signage, etc. Just as you created a brand strategy to serve as the framework for the development of new creative, you will also need to develop a brand implementation strategy that integrates financial, functional, and organizational realities into an achievable vision for brand transition. The brand implementation strategy outlines how your branding objectives will be delivered within the time and resource constraints of the project. Failure to account for all assets and scenarios can make or break your new brand rollout.