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Integrating brands

A guide to brand management in M&A

When two businesses combine, what brand should be used? At what point are these decisions made? In this report we explore the importance of brand in M&A and how to develop a successful brand transition strategy as part of an integration.

Why brand is key in M&A

M&A is a fundamental aspect of business strategy. Yet the well-publicised rate of M&A failures means companies must improve the planning and execution of these transactions. As integration specialists, we find that brand strategy is often considered too late in implementation process. While organisations focus on synergies and one-off implementation costs, they can sometimes neglect considerations on brand identity for the combined businesses. Yet, brand plays a fundamental role in M&A, and is vital to ensure future organisational success. So, how do you successfully transition a brand following a merger or acquisition?


Deloitte’s M&A brand outcome framework

In a successful integration strategy, values must be aligned, and visions shared to establish a common purpose and direction among all parties. The chosen brand outcome should ultimately reflect the business model that the integration programme intended to deliver.

In our research of c.700 M&A transactions since 2006*, we have identified seven distinct brand outcomes, and used these to develop our M&A Brand Outcome Framework. This tool is designed to you help you consider brand transition strategy as a key part of the integration process.

The framework identifies five key issues for consideration.

  1. Deal type: The most suitable brand outcomes relevant to deal type
  2. Industry sector: How sector trends impact deal outcomes
  3. Market diversification: The impact on relative products, services, markets and geographies
  4. Brand equity: How to analyse brand equity to determine brand strength
  5. Cost, complexity and culture: The impact of implementation requirements on brand outcomes and budgets


Who is this report for?

Brand integration is a strategically important process, connecting a shared vision and purpose for the future. This guide is an essential point of reference for all parties involved in M&A, including marketing functions and external creative agencies. It will help you make informed decisions on brand management during an integration. To find out more download the report.


How we can help

We provide expert advice that creates value for our clients executing M&A transactions. Our M&A services are unrivalled, addressing all aspects from strategy, market assessment, due diligence, planning, execution, integration and transformation. We have a dedicated brand strategy practice led by ACNE, our creative consultancy, who work with our M&A teams to help assess strategic options for acquirer and target companies.

Please contact us if you would like advice or to discuss our findings in more detail.

*With a transaction value exceeding £450 million

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