Clear brand merger strategies

posted on July 10th 2013 in Branding with 0 Comments

Companies merging together can be an exciting time, but it can also be an opportunity for brands to go spectacularly wrong. Your brands are vital, so it’s essential to look at the thinking behind brand merger strategies to ensure future growth.

Clear brand merger strategies need to start with some very basic principles before going into the complexities of the different strategies you can follow:

Don’t head straight to design

If the first thing you decide is to get an advertising agency to design a new logo with your new ‘Widget Group’ name then think again!

Customers in each of your ‘to be merged’ companies are loyal to a brand. At minimum it’s a brand they know and trust enough to part money with. They will be familiar with:

  • A logo
  • Core brand colours – in the logo, in design
  • Typefaces
  • Imagery
  • Shapes and layouts for design on products and promotional materials

These are the more obvious physical or visual cues. But less obvious and often over-looked is something just as vital as all of these: what does the brand stand for?

 Think customers first

Your customers like the people, products, service, interactions and communications they get from your business. They like (or at least aren’t rejecting) your brand story and positioning.

These things make up a brand, and the reason they are choosing brand A over brand B. Merge brand’s A and B, and what do they think? There could be a myriad of reasons why they might not like the brand you are merging with, even though it could be a bigger brand. How do you take them with you?

This is why merging isn’t just an exercise in looking at logos and websites. Central beliefs at the heart of your merging brands need to be looked at, establishing what’s common, what works best and what the new brand story will be. Confuse the customer and both or all your merging brands may fail.

Think about your people

Different organisations behave differently. There will be different behaviours, attitudes and product development practices. Even the way the phone is answered may well be different!

All these things affect the brand. All of them will affect how your customers feel. Newly merged brands will need their people to know what the new landscape looks like, what’s the new brand story? What’s different and what’s the same? More to the point they need to know why so they can tell your customers and put them at ease.

So do the thinking. Brand merger strategies aren’t all about the logo.

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