Mergers are making headlines today with talk of US retailers and airlines coming together. News that OfficeMax and Office Depot are discussing a stock-for-stock deal between the two brands has shares up are up 25% and 16% respectively. Moody’s Investors Service says the merger between American Airlines and US Airways announced last week threatens the credit quality of US airports. The stakes are high for brands entering into mergers and can impact entire sectors. Digital Brand Management can help manage the merger process and manage its impact on a company’s most valuable asset – its brand.
Brands contemplating or currently in the process of any merger, consolidation or other business combination are undoubtedly analyzing the impact of many elements including financial evaluations, tax considerations, operational processes, material contracts, real estate, technology, risk, organizational structure and change management. Most organizations do consider the effect a merger or similar transaction will have on its brand. It is vital that they also take a proactive approach to governing this change, communicating it internally and externally, and ensuring that the merging organizations capitalize on already developed assets.
Whether following the transaction the brand will be a newly developed combination of the merging organizations or one organization will adopt the other’s identity, it is vital that this is communicated both within the organizations and externally in a thoughtful, efficient way. As the organizations team up to develop business together they will begin sharing marketing collateral and leveraging each other’s skills and expertise. However, this integration can be very difficult, costly and potentially detrimental to the brand if it is unclear what the identity is and where employees can go to learn about and execute the brand strategy.
Providing a web based platform for marketers from both organizations that clearly articulates the new brand guidelines, strategy, identity, assets and templates that support it, prepares communications teams for the change. It enables brands to manage the process and reinforce the change both internally and in the external marketplace.
The brand platform will become a one stop shopping experience for all things brand related. This will control and reduce costs, saving time spent recreating assets, clearly stating brand guidelines and expectations for implementing the new brand, training employees on the new brand strategy, policing the brand in the market and ensuring only brand approved collateral is utilized.
Perhaps most importantly, a systemized portal will also demonstrate a commitment to the brand. Utilizing Digital Brand Management in managing merges will inspire the organization and partners to be participants in the development and governance of the new brand during the reorganization following the transaction when change must be managed carefully and effectively.
Kristen Selinger is a Business Development Manager for BrandWizard.