Every now and then, we observe a pattern and foresee a trend. When so happens, we write about it. In this article, we share our thoughts on the many mergers that will follow post Covid-19.
When the economy recuperates after Covid-19 many believe that the number of mergers will increase. As the M&A pipelines get filled up but also because the number of rescue deals, restructurings, and distressed sellers are likely to increase.
Merging two or more companies or creating an investment platform creates the need for a branding exercise in order to gain the most value of the new entity. An exercise in finding a compelling narrative that explains the new entity in a way that the benefits of the new entity far surpass that of the previous. This narrative can be told through the name, the story, the visual- and verbal expression, the experience of the website and so forth. Ideally, all well synchronized.
We have branded mergers for more than 35 years and believe that there are a few things to keep in mind in order to get it right. Here are the most crucial.
Spend time defining the common denominators between the investment thesis and the merging companies’ strategies. Translate what benefits these provide for the new company’s audiences. Ensure that this narrative will act on your behalf for a long time forward by confirming that it takes care of the macro trends you see affecting the company. Also understand that you will be in competition with others no matter how unique your plan is. Your narrative therefore has to be compelling to all your audiences. Spend time finding the right voice and vocabulary in order to reach them.
Your name will be an important tool in communicating your narrative. There might be attractive reasons to use the name of the largest company in the merger but if you to develop a new name, make sure to get it right. Right does not mean perfect, however. Perfection is only attained through the communication of the name and what it in the future will mean to your audiences. And remember that the name is only one part of the puzzle. But make sure it fits your narrative and that its downsides are disposed of by the visual- and verbal expression and communication.
If you are reading this and are to brand a merger you will most likely be in a shortage of time. And you might be compelled to push a few of the preparations for the future. Don’t. Make sure you either have or get the necessary trademark rights and domains for your new brand before you launch. This branding exercise will cost you precious time and you don’t want to have to start over because of an infringement situation. It is also advisable to get sign-off by compliance on everything from descriptions to policies and to validate your solution with outside council from the field.
It is easy to feel a sense of relief once all the important decisions have been taken. Implementing what you just have decided is however a large, long and challenging task. It is good advice to overestimate the amount of resources it will take. Remember that it is by your delivery not your intent that the value of the brand is created. If this is one of your first mergers it might be wise to partner up with a specialist like ourselves. Get in direct contact with one of our own strategists. Get in touch