Merging two brands together — whether it’s two corporate or product brands — is not an easy task by any means.
A company must dedicate a serious amount of time to the process in order for it to be successful. Skipping steps and going to market too early can result in a messy, confusing brand image for your consumers. But, taking too much time can mean the potential loss of sales. It’s a balancing act that requires being thorough with your execution.
Companies these days are merging more often than ever before, especially within the food and beverage industry where 2018 was a record-breaking year for acquisitions. So, how can you ensure that your own brand mergers are successful?
Well, it starts with these three critical steps.
1. Integrate and Communicate
Quickly meshing the two brands together will certainly lead to a messy rollout and brand image. But, if you can work together to talk about the strengths of each brand, what value they bring to consumers, and any other important insight, you can work together to create a new and improved brand that incorporates the best of both worlds.
For example, let’s say two brands have a social media presence, but one has a significantly higher following and engagement rate. The two teams decide that instead of creating a new social media account across all their platforms, they simply decide to delete the less successful brand’s platforms and start integrating the new brand into the more successful brand’s Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages.
Other potential areas for integration post-merger include software technologies such as marketing automation platforms, procurement platforms, Salesforce and other CRM databases, and more.
When it comes to integrating and communicating, it’s all about looking to eliminate redundancies that may come up, as well as look for potential opportunities.
2. Acquire and Store New Brand Assets
While a merger between new brands will often lead to some brand assets becoming no longer relevant, there is still going to be some assets that still hold value.
For example, when Amazon and Whole Foods merged, Amazon’s logo — including the patented ‘smile’ — could be seen all over Whole Foods.
While this wasn’t a full-on brand merger, it was still important that those working at each Whole Food location had Amazon’s logo assets on hand for advertising and store merchandising purposes. It is really important to go through all of your design(s): logos, marketing materials, label and artwork, and packaging assets and centralize them into one location.
Digital asset management tools like MediaBeacon can make this process much easier, as you’ll be able to store and neatly organize all the new assets you take in from the merger.
With MediaBeacon, you can store, search and control all your assets, as well as manage, collaborate and distribute and track them too.
3. Determine Product Packaging For New Brand
If there is a product involved with your merger then you’ll be in need of some new brand packaging. The process of creating new product packaging can be difficult, especially when you’re trying to visualize what the new package will look like.
Luckily, there are quite a few tools available to help your packaging
For all your packaging design and management needs, turn to WebCenter — a powerful, user-friendly, and web-based platform that allows you to can manage packaging specifications, artwork approvals, and project life cycles all from a centralized location. This packaging management software will help ease the burden of integrating with new brands after acquisitions by allowing new teams to collaborate together with ease.
With WebCenter, you’ll get the following features to assist with your packaging management needs:
- Projection and task specification
- Dynamic forms and collaboration tools
- File management and asset library
- Packaging Content Management which includes: copy, ingredients, etc.
- And many, many more!
4. Bonus Tip: Always Consider the Consumer
When it comes to combining two brands, you’re also meshing two consumers together.
Yes, this is as tricky as it sounds.
No brand merger can make everyone happy. But, if you make your decisions in good faith and think about what’s not only best for your new brand but for your consumers too, you’ll be well on your way to a successful merger.
Look no further than Disney and Pixar’s merger for an example on how to blend two brands together. While the two brands had been working in tandem for years prior to the merger, by combining, they were able to be more efficient with their movie production.
But, the quality of the film never goes down — even after big old corporate Disney became part of the Pixar team.
Not only did this deal make perfect sense, but the execution was flawless, as both brands put the consumer first.
After all, happy consumers equal a better brand image, increased consumer loyalty, and more sales. Since Pixar’s inception, they have made $14 billion at the box office. Roughly $11 billion of that was made after they were acquired by Disney, which illustrates just how effective the merger was.
Be Thorough in Your Post Merger Moves
Remember, when it comes to mergers and acquisitions, it’s critical that you take the time necessary to flesh out all the details before going to market. By carefully following these five steps after acquiring another brand, you’ll be well on your way to a successful brand integration.