A company may have survived a merger and acquisition process, but what does it take for a deal to thrive? It pays to invest in re-branding and repositioning the organization after purchasing a business. This is more so if businesses are seeking a new direction for growth and need to evolve with changing times. But repositioning the brand is not easy, and as a new partner in the acquisition process, challenges are further compounded by the degree of planning and organization that needs to go into the making a deal a success.
When IBID Solutions acquired RiverPlay, an iGaming company, it realized the need for re-branding as a means of successfully positioning and providing a new direction of growth and Pragmatic Solutions was born. As the IBID Pragmatic Solutions acquisition demonstrates, this was a fairly complex process. So, when it comes to insights from this IBID Pragmatic Solutions acquihire, here are the crucial takeaways.
Considering Pros and Cons Objectively
Branding research consultant Landor studied the re-branding process among S&P top 100 companies and post M&A repositioning. The researchers found that while deals amounting to millions of dollars, like the IBID Pragmatic Solution acquisition differ from smaller scale acquisitions, most of these principles apply. A key conclusion of their study was that there needs to be objective, thorough study of brand equity for both acquisition partners with an eye on client reaction post the deal.
Acquisition involves players with a potential being absorbed by a massive brand, like the IBID Pragmatic Solutions acquisition, where the IBID Group is a leading investor, and the target company is an emerging player. Merger and acquisition deals are are about mentoring and branding opportunities and it is essential that the strong brand complement the emerging one.
Customer Perception Matters
The evaluation of how to reposition the brand should take place along with financial evaluations prior to the announcement of the deal. Bringing in the experts early on can help acquisition partners understand how to appeal to clients post the closure of the deal. The focus should be on how customers, both present and future, are likely to view the target company post the acquisition and what marketing strategies will yield outstanding returns on investment.
When it comes to re-branding, the IBID Pragmatic Solutions acquisition brought about major changes in the range of product lines, service offering and core businesses through repositioning. Despite RiverPlay’s positive brand equity, moving forward meant a re-branding for this top iGaming portfolio firm. As an undisputed leader in its niche, Pragmatic Solutions serves to create value. As a successful, flourishing and well established investor, the IBID Group adds to its brand equity.
Note that the decision to re-brand/reposition a target company post the merger and acquisition can have a significant impact on future successes of the venture. It makes a difference between whether the deal attains success or not.
The decision for re-branding following an M&A deal is a call that has to be made. But when it comes to maximizing deal value, firms need to decide whether transitions to a new brand equity could be the appropriate strategy. For maximization of value, it is essential to rebrand the acquihired asset and set a suitable timeline for the branding process.
Integrating the Culture
Post merger and acquisition rebranding strategies need to consider not only the financial aspects of the acquisition, but also integration of the culture and image of the company being acquihired. The brand equity which has been created prior to the acquisition must be retained. Preserving the culture of the target company and averting a clash is the key to successful rebranding.
Making Branding a Priority
In a Sloan Management review paper, that studied M&A deals completed over a 10 year period, branding strategy was found to be last on the list for many merger and acquisition negotiations. If rebranding has to be successful, this must be prevented. For marketers, an M&A deal is an important test of the measure of success. Inability to establish a new brand and communicate its worth to external and internal audiences can dent the reputation of the acquisition partners on the whole.
Remember that a merger of two brands provides each acquisition partner an unbeatable chance to leverage the value generated from uniting their forces. A good place to start the repositioning and rebranding process is to gain a deep understanding of current brand perceptions and how competitors are approaching the market.
Backing the stronger brand, existing together and combining the best of both creates unbelievable value for each acquisition partner. While deciding which route to opt for, it is crucial to note that the brand architecture has to resonate with employees as well, and not just clients. In fact, all stakeholders in the acquisition process need to be carefully considered and their perceptions accounted for, while repositioning the target company’s brand.
Why Employees Matter Too
When it comes to re-branding, it is therefore equally important to consider the perceptions of employees. This is because people matter most when it comes to an organization’s success. Talent management is essential and the right rebranding strategy is at the core of it. For employees facing new roles and a new corporate identity, repositioning has to be done keeping their concerns in mind. It is important to carefully examine brand selection strategies and messages sent. Re-branding serves as an important catalyst to ensure all employees are engaged and core values are aligned through re-branding of the company.
As the IBID Pragmatic Solutions acquihire proves, successful rebranding has immense value for the acquisition partners, the stakeholders and the wider industry, when it is carried out keeping critical concerns in mind. For target consumer companies that are seeking to impress clients, the re-branding strategy post the acquisition plays a critical role in how the portfolio company is perceived.
Consider the value that the target company attains through successful rebranding, aside from the value it provides for the investor group as well. While there’s more to repositioning a brand than merely selling it, creating a new brand equity after the merger and acquisition deal is the ultimate win-win outcome.