Mergers and acquisitions always take two companies and combine them into one. In a straight merger, the companies are often similar in size and strength, while acquisitions usually involve larger companies purchasing smaller ones. However the union is made, the simple fact remains that two brands must learn to live as one. This often requires re-branding after mergers and acquisitions, and it’s a great way to identify your new company and show consumers that you are committed to the new products and services that you will offer.
When mergers and acquisitions occur between similar companies, there are many hurdles to overcome. There is no way to get around the hurt and aggravation the workers will feel, especially those at the executive level. For one thing, the names of both companies may completely disappear overnight as a new company is born. This will often negate past decisions, marketing strategies, and tentative ideas that have been discussed as room is made for the new brand to be developed.
Often, two companies that are not similar but offer compatible services will merge into one. In this case, it is possible to keep both brands alive while rebranding the company as a whole, and executives and employees are less likely to suffer hurt feelings throughout the process. Though there is still a great deal of strength in both brands undergoing mergers and acquisitions, it is important that only one brand survive so that consumers are not confused in the end.
Building a strong new brand can be just as difficult as it was to build the original two brands, but it can be done. If you allow a weak brand to be introduced, you will lose credibility, as well as confuse your potential customers. When this happens, stock prices can drop, employee morale will plummet, and you could lose a large chunk of your best employees. This won’t be a reflection on the quality of the products and services being offered, but of the confidence your buying public and employees have in your brand.
There are admittedly many tasks to consider during mergers and acquisitions, but too many companies let the re-branding process fall by the wayside. By pulling the two brands together, aligning the original mission statements with the new one, and revealing a strong new business entity, your company can sail past the hardest part of external communications for mergers and acquisitions, and that’s letting your customers know you’re still there.
Melissa Nathans works in consultation with Jack Lyons of Lyons Solutions, a nationally recognized business broker. Lyons Solutions is a business broker and mergers and acquisitions expert. For more information about national buiness brokers, check out lyonssolutions.com where you can learn more about mergers and acquisitions.