Accelerate or pause: Maximize your rebrand after a merger

Accelerate or pause: Maximize your rebrand after a merger



Implementing a rebrand after a merger is always a big deal. When the merger involves two brands with added layers of legal regulatory considerations, things can begin to feel like an overwhelming cascade of moving parts.

When brand teams find themselves in this scenario, the strategy is often to implement the rebrand as quickly as possible once the deal closes. And while this offers a solid suite of benefits—from capitalizing on the news cycle to maximizing the power of a unified brand—there are times when a rapid rebrand isn’t always possible.

When that happens, brand teams often find themselves with a host of challenges to overcome. This might include everything from front and back-end integration to naming architecture coming into play (thankfully, the right partner can work wonders here—more on that later.)

To help you decide if an acceleration or pause strategy is right for your soon-to-be unified organization, we’ve outlined both sides of the coin.

Strike while the iron is hot: 4 reasons to jumpstart your rebrand launch

Your merger has closed, the momentum is building, and there’s nothing like a fresh new brand to get the wheels turning. Strike while the iron is hot, as they say. Here’s what could come with moving swiftly on implementing your rebrand following deal closure.

1. Unified brand identity

When a rebrand launch follows hot on the heels of a merger, a few problems are quickly resolved. For starters, it reduces the risk that team members on both sides of the merger might continue to use legacy branding and dilute the power of a unified brand.

A new, unified brand not only offers a cohesive image for consumers, but it also unites employees and stakeholders under a single banner. No one is left wondering what, if anything, is happening. The way forward is clear—a new entity has emerged as the result of the merger.

2. Increased market impact

The news cycle loves a shiny new object. A fresh brand capitalizes on this fact by generating buzz and excitement that news outlets and social media can help proliferate.

In addition to the upswing in momentum, the additional awareness of the goods or services you offer may even create additional business opportunities.

3. Clear communication

Following a merger, everyone from frontline staff to consumers will likely have questions. By implementing a rebrand right out of the gate, you send all involved parties a clear message: the two companies are now a single entity.

The rebrand offers a clear way forward for internal messaging, allows for the streamlining of marketing efforts, and helps start building brand equity and goodwill.

4. Sharpened competitive edge

By quickly establishing a new brand, brand teams can also get straight to work positioning the merged company as a big, new player in the market. The brand can help leverage the combined strengths of the two companies and let consumers and prospective clients know that the new company means business.

Additionally, a rapid rebrand following deal closure can also reduce the likelihood of “change fatigue” brought on by a laborious multi-step integration. Getting out the gate early is even more beneficial if the merger involves a legacy brand impacted by scandal or negative PR.

Rebrand roadmap - from development to implementation

This high-level infographic provides a look at the steps involved in your brand conversion from a brand implementation and development perspective. Learn what happens in what order during a typical rebrand so you can build your rebrand roadmap for success.

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Ease off the gas: 4 challenges if a rebrand launch is delayed

Following a merger, there’s a vast amount of change happening at both legacy companies. This could mean easing off the gas and implementing a rebrand at a slower pace. Here’s what you might encounter.

1. Weakened brand equity

If the merged company maintains dual legacy brands for an extended period following the announcement, everyone from customers to suppliers to employees can end up confused. As a result, brand equity risks diminishment when brand managers find themselves unsure where to hang their hat, so to speak.

2. A slowdown in momentum

When a rebrand lags behind a merger, the initial excitement generated is weakened, along with the potential for a big splash in the market. As momentum slows, the window to make waves begins to close, reducing the impact of the rebrand when it finally takes place.

3. Operational inefficiencies

One of the benefits of a merger of two brands is the subsequent efficiencies that can be found. This means one legal department instead of two, one contact center instead of two, one marketing department instead of two, and so on. By delaying a rebrand, any gains that could be achieved by merging marketing teams are lost, leading to duplicate efforts, increased costs, and mixed messages in the marketplace.

4. Mixed messages in the marketplace

Once a merger has been announced, customers and other stakeholders will expect a unified message from the newly created entity. Delayed rebranding efforts mean you risk putting mixed messages (from the legacy brands) out into the market. The result? An increased likelihood of complicating communications at the exact moment you want to simplify them.

Making it work: The power of a rebrand implementation partner

No matter which way you slice it, a rebrand after a merger is complicated, comes with an unending number of moving parts, and can’t happen overnight. This is where a rebrand implementation partner like BrandActive can help your organization get where it needs to go. By working with an implementation expert, you can secure the support you need to at every touchpoint.

BrandActive offers:

  • Expert advice to manage front and back-end integration
  • Assistance with legal structure of the new entity
  • Guidance around implementation of naming architecture

If you’re looking down the road to a major merger, give us a call and let’s talk about a strategy that’s right for the health of your enterprise.