Why is Brand Strategy an M&A After-thought?

 

2018 was a big year for merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, with reports suggesting that in the first three quarters of the year alone, deals worth $3.3 trillion were hammered out, the largest amount since records began. But with so much on the line, and with some of the world’s best business brains having a role, why does it take so long for marketing and brand strategy specialists to be brought in?

 

One of the notable points raised in Deloitte’s M&A Trends 2019 report is the fact that 23% of dealmakers believe that effective integration is the key to a successful M&A transaction. We would argue that this figure is shockingly low.

 

As Matt Bowen, Brandigo’s very own President North America, pointed out in an article he recently authored for the Journal of Brand Strategy, the crux of any M&A project is bringing multiple parties together for a common goal, all of which will have their own existing views and values. The challenge is to be able to move quickly enough in order to take advantage of the new opportunities the merger has created, as well as satisfying the demands of existing customers, while at the same time bringing together two or more organizations that were, until recently, distinctly separate operations.

 

Integral to getting all of the above right is creating a single vision, brand and purpose, and successfully communicating this to the new post-merger entity. Yet as we see in the Deloitte report, for most M&A activities this is the part that most company directors believe they can set aside for later. Crazy when you think about what’s at stake or what can potentially be gained!

 

Matt recently advised on an M&A project that got this right, bringing together three existing healthcare industry companies and creating an emotional, clear brand that everyone within the new organization were happy to get behind. This was done by creating a clear and concise brand strategy that was applied effectively despite the usual challenges and under considerable time constraints.

 

As I mentioned above, Matt recently authored an article for the Journal of Brand Strategy and the case study of Matt’s experience with the healthcare industry M&A and subsequent brand strategy he helped to create with the clients is the main focus of the piece.

 

You can find out more of Matt’s thoughts on effective brand strategy and its positive impact on M&A activity, and read the case study for yourself, by downloading a PDF of Matt’s article below. Once you’ve had a chance to read it, we’d love to hear what your thoughts are by either leaving a comment or via our social media. Let us know what you think.

 

A big thank you to the Journal of Brand Strategy for allowing us to republish the article here.

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