Model Structure Technique For Acquired Manufacturers
Brand strategy Insider helps marketing-oriented executives and professionals like you build strong brands. That is our reason to be. BSI readers know that we regularly answer questions from marketers. Today we hear from Andre, a vice president of marketing in Denver, Colorado, who has this question about the transition of acquired brands.
“The insurance company I work for has recently acquired a smaller, more established company outside of the state to enable geographic diversification into new markets. We do not want to immediately rename everything to the parent company's brand, but we also do not plan to use the acquired company's brand as a DBA name well beyond a transition period, in which representatives and policyholders can get used to the new company brand. Are there some general strategies or rules of thumb about how and how quickly you can switch from one brand to another? "
Thanks for your question Andre. Assuming you have already made the decision to switch all acquisitions to your brand name, it is important to communicate each transition so that the target audience of the brand acquired has learned about the transition at least 7 to 12 times before it is fully implemented . In this way, they link the new name and identity with the previous name and identity.
This can be achieved by communication or by linking the two names / identities for a certain period of time. For example, you can render the acquired brand as a sub-brand of your brand, or you can support it for a year or two from your brand before the acquired brand is deleted and replaced by your brand. As a caution, I would also examine any associations that the target audience of the acquired brand have with the name / identity of your brand, in the event that there are negative or confusing associations that need to be addressed before the transition.
Don't forget people
So often, cultural companies only force a brand change without taking sufficient account of what their employees can lose or gain psychologically through the change. They focus on corporate restructuring at the expense of emotional restructuring. If they don't take advantage of the legacy of the existing brand or the excitement and strength of the new brand, they often lose the transformation opportunity that represents a change in brand ownership.
What you do with the brands you purchase is an important consideration for any company that wants to take over someone else's assets. You probably paid good money for it. Understanding the value they have and the value they could have or will never achieve is critical to transforming the balance sheet goodwill into margin-enhancing brand value. Too often, companies make decisions after acquiring the brands themselves, based on guidelines or structures, rather than carefully considering how they can have the greatest emotional impact in their markets and for their customers today and in the future.
Andre, I hope that's helpful. Further information on the complexities of the brand strategy for mergers and acquisitions as well as on the brand architecture can be found here.
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