Cures for 8 common 
merger and brand 
integration ailments 
CAROL 
POLACEK 
SENIOR 
STRATEGIST/PRACTICE 
LEADER 
BRAND 
AS...
2 
A merger or acquisition can be the launch 
pad for a bigger, bolder organization with 
an eye to the future.
3 
That future starts with a successful brand 
integration strategy.
4 
Sounds easy, right? 
Well, it’s not, but it’s easier if you know the 
cure for common brand integration ailments.
Ailment 1: Shaky foundation 
PHOTO 
BY 
ROBERT 
S. 
DONOVAN
6 
Your brand integration strategy must align with 
and support your business strategy. 
Your business strategy provides t...
7 
The lack of a succinct business strategy becomes 
quickly apparent during an integration initiative. 
By the way, “incr...
8 
Make sure your business strategy is rock solid. 
Distill it into 4 to 6 key points so it’s easy for 
internals to remem...
Ailment 2: No momentum 
PHOTO 
BY 
MATTYSFLICKS
10 
The lack of momentum after a merger looks 
like a lack of organizational confidence.
11 
Development of a concise integration plan 
is essential for success — you can’t build 
momentum without one.
12 
Engage experts who can assist you. 
They can help you apply best practices 
and make faster progress.
13 
To keep momentum going, celebrate your 
successes — even the small ones. 
Confidence is contagious.
Ailment 3: Silos 
PHOTO 
BY 
EIRIK 
REFSDAL
15 
Despite the synergistic promise of matrixed 
organizations, many folks still function in silos. 
And silos = integrati...
16 
Change is hard. For everyone. No matter 
what side of an acquisition you’re on.
17 
Combat silos with a truly cross-functional 
integration team. 
Include representatives from operations, sales, HR, 
pr...
18 
Your cross-functional integration team will 
become your ambassadors when it comes 
time to implement the integration ...
PHOTO 
EDENPICTURES 
Ailment 4: Lack of objectivity
20 
Brand and organizational integration 
is emotional. And emotions impair your 
team’s ability to make decisions.
21 
Commit to making data-driven decisions 
to ensure objectivity. 
Hook up with an experienced external partner 
and allo...
Ailment 5: Loss of focus 
PHOTO 
BY 
KEVIN 
CHAN
23 
Most organizations have multiple initiatives 
simmering at a time. 
Unfortunately, brand initiatives are never as 
imp...
24 
Signal that the brand integration is a big deal 
by getting executive-level support and actively 
promoting it with in...
25 
Give senior leadership talking points that 
keep the integration story clear and concise. 
And always tie those talkin...
Ailment 6: Outdated brand position 
PHOTO 
BY 
STEFANX80
Don’t assume your current brand position will 
remain the same following a merger or acquisition. 
27
28 
In fact, it’s quite likely that your brand story 
doesn’t include the breadth and depth of the 
company you just acqui...
29 
Anticipate that your brand story will change. 
Plan for a brand refresh as part of an integration, 
and use it to buil...
Ailment 7: Failing to live the brand 
PHOTO 
BY 
OLGA 
_NEZEMANAYA
31 
Sadly, internals are the most ignored audience 
in an integration. 
Yet, they’re essential to creating a positive 
bra...
32 
Make internals your No. 1 audience. 
Announce the integration plan internally 
with an event, and communicate plan pro...
33 
Launch the new brand internally first. 
Use the new brand story to rally internals and train 
them on what it means to...
Ailment 8: Disorganized communications 
PHOTO 
BY 
ARISTOCRATS-­‐HAT
35 
When your brand integration process is murky, 
external communications will be foggy, too.
36 
Develop a concise and detailed integration 
project plan. 
Look for a meaningful time frame to launch to 
the public a...
37 
No one said it would be easy. 
In fact, a successful brand integration takes 
patience, focus and commitment.
38 
But doing it right builds positive brand 
associations with internals, channel partners 
and customers.
Tell us how we can help transform 
your business 
RYANN GREVE 
CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER 
P. 262-938-5466 
WWW.BADER-RUTTER....
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Cures for 8 common merger and brand integration ailments

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Integration planning is the single most important strategy for mitigating risk in merger and acquisition transactions. Never overlook the human and cultural nuances. Look beyond the financials. And find cures to eight common post-merger brand transaction ailments in this presentation.

Published in: Business

Cures for 8 common merger and brand integration ailments

  1. 1. Cures for 8 common merger and brand integration ailments CAROL POLACEK SENIOR STRATEGIST/PRACTICE LEADER BRAND ASSET MANAGEMENT PHOTO BY E-­‐MAGINE ART
  2. 2. 2 A merger or acquisition can be the launch pad for a bigger, bolder organization with an eye to the future.
  3. 3. 3 That future starts with a successful brand integration strategy.
  4. 4. 4 Sounds easy, right? Well, it’s not, but it’s easier if you know the cure for common brand integration ailments.
  5. 5. Ailment 1: Shaky foundation PHOTO BY ROBERT S. DONOVAN
  6. 6. 6 Your brand integration strategy must align with and support your business strategy. Your business strategy provides the framework for assessing challenges and evaluating success.
  7. 7. 7 The lack of a succinct business strategy becomes quickly apparent during an integration initiative. By the way, “increase revenue in key markets by X%” is not a business strategy.
  8. 8. 8 Make sure your business strategy is rock solid. Distill it into 4 to 6 key points so it’s easy for internals to remember and repeat.
  9. 9. Ailment 2: No momentum PHOTO BY MATTYSFLICKS
  10. 10. 10 The lack of momentum after a merger looks like a lack of organizational confidence.
  11. 11. 11 Development of a concise integration plan is essential for success — you can’t build momentum without one.
  12. 12. 12 Engage experts who can assist you. They can help you apply best practices and make faster progress.
  13. 13. 13 To keep momentum going, celebrate your successes — even the small ones. Confidence is contagious.
  14. 14. Ailment 3: Silos PHOTO BY EIRIK REFSDAL
  15. 15. 15 Despite the synergistic promise of matrixed organizations, many folks still function in silos. And silos = integration disaster.
  16. 16. 16 Change is hard. For everyone. No matter what side of an acquisition you’re on.
  17. 17. 17 Combat silos with a truly cross-functional integration team. Include representatives from operations, sales, HR, product development, technical support, customer service and marketing.
  18. 18. 18 Your cross-functional integration team will become your ambassadors when it comes time to implement the integration plan.
  19. 19. PHOTO EDENPICTURES Ailment 4: Lack of objectivity
  20. 20. 20 Brand and organizational integration is emotional. And emotions impair your team’s ability to make decisions.
  21. 21. 21 Commit to making data-driven decisions to ensure objectivity. Hook up with an experienced external partner and allow plenty of time for the research.
  22. 22. Ailment 5: Loss of focus PHOTO BY KEVIN CHAN
  23. 23. 23 Most organizations have multiple initiatives simmering at a time. Unfortunately, brand initiatives are never as important as meeting the sales forecast.
  24. 24. 24 Signal that the brand integration is a big deal by getting executive-level support and actively promoting it with internals. This also helps the acquired organization feel like valued members of their “new” family.
  25. 25. 25 Give senior leadership talking points that keep the integration story clear and concise. And always tie those talking points back to the business strategy.
  26. 26. Ailment 6: Outdated brand position PHOTO BY STEFANX80
  27. 27. Don’t assume your current brand position will remain the same following a merger or acquisition. 27
  28. 28. 28 In fact, it’s quite likely that your brand story doesn’t include the breadth and depth of the company you just acquired.
  29. 29. 29 Anticipate that your brand story will change. Plan for a brand refresh as part of an integration, and use it to build public awareness and interest for the organization.
  30. 30. Ailment 7: Failing to live the brand PHOTO BY OLGA _NEZEMANAYA
  31. 31. 31 Sadly, internals are the most ignored audience in an integration. Yet, they’re essential to creating a positive brand experience with your customers.
  32. 32. 32 Make internals your No. 1 audience. Announce the integration plan internally with an event, and communicate plan progress at regular intervals. Reread the slides on combating silos with a cross-functional team.
  33. 33. 33 Launch the new brand internally first. Use the new brand story to rally internals and train them on what it means to truly live the brand.
  34. 34. Ailment 8: Disorganized communications PHOTO BY ARISTOCRATS-­‐HAT
  35. 35. 35 When your brand integration process is murky, external communications will be foggy, too.
  36. 36. 36 Develop a concise and detailed integration project plan. Look for a meaningful time frame to launch to the public and work backward from there.
  37. 37. 37 No one said it would be easy. In fact, a successful brand integration takes patience, focus and commitment.
  38. 38. 38 But doing it right builds positive brand associations with internals, channel partners and customers.
  39. 39. Tell us how we can help transform your business RYANN GREVE CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER P. 262-938-5466 WWW.BADER-RUTTER.COM
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