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Brand Strategy After Mergering

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8. Brand strategy after Mergering

Mergers is a huge challenge for any company. Devoting a greater focus towards making sure that both brands involved in a merger come together smoothly could be the key to success for any company. With the right merger branding strategy, you can use current customer perceptions to simplify your story and improve your connections with clients. Or, you could decide to build an entirely new and disruptive organization from scratch. However, if branding is forgotten or ignored during the merger process, you could be left with a huge mess on your hands. 

Successful mergers begin with choosing the right brand architecture and implementing a strong strategy for evolution. Here are just some of the architecture options you can choose from:

  1. Stay the same. Perhaps the most conservative way to handle mergers is to retain the identity of both companies after the merger. This doesn’t necessarily mean that each brand operates independently, but the marketplace continues to see both names as separate entities as far as branding goes. One great example of a “stay the same” merger branding solution can be seen with Procter & Gamble
  2. The fusion – the most popular brand strategy for mergers. A fusion works best when the two businesses have similar purposes or brand visions, to begin with. For example, ConocoPhillips was created when Phillips and Conoco merged in 2002.
  3. The new brand. Finally, perhaps the most aggressive option for branding after mergers is to create an entirely new entity. This can be the best step forward for some companies who are planning on undergoing a significant transformation. A good example is when Bell Atlantic and GTE merged to create a new brand “Verizon”.
  4. Stronger horse. As the name might suggest, the “stronger horse” strategy for company mergers involves elevating one better-known brand over the other. Generally, this happens when one of the companies in the merger has better equity, potential, or a stronger customer base. For example, when First Union purchased Wachovia, they put the smaller company’s name first because First Union had problems regarding their reputation

Perhaps one of the best-known company mergers in history, Disney and Pixar brought together two worlds of family fun and entertainment.  Combining the magic of Disney with the kid-friendly Pixar brand might seem simple enough on the surface, but like every brand development, the two companies had a few distinct challenges to address. For instance, both companies needed to decide whether they were going to absorb Pixar into Disney or allow the brand to continue growing separately. By maintaining the Pixar name and logo, but adding Disney into the mix, the companies were able to achieve a greater level of growth. Pixar tapped into the iconic marketing abilities of Disney, while the Mickey Mouse brand found a new way to grow its market share and expand brand reach. For both organization’s, the acquisition was a fantastic win-win opportunity.

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