Merger Brand Express

When professional service firms merge the branding implications can be substantial.

However, for the leadership teams of merging firms there are so many other critical items on the agenda that all too often branding is rushed – or even worse, fudged ­– and the opportunity to tell a powerful new brand story to clients and potential recruits, whilst the merger is making headlines, is lost forever.

The reality of the situation demands a special approach, which is why we’ve designed a new advisory service, ‘Merger Brand Express’, specifically aimed at addressing the branding needs of firms going through a major merger.

Merger Brand Express isn’t the same as a proper brand review – but there isn’t the time or the bandwidth to do it ‘properly’: to consult widely with partners and clients, conduct the discovery research and do the development work necessary. On the other hand, some things must be done and will be done anyway – such as making a decision on naming, developing a high-level, strategic brand narrative to communicate the merger benefits to partners, staff and clients; maybe even designing a new logo or website landing page.

We’ve done all these things before, many times over, for some of the world’s leading international professional service firms. The design of Merger Brand Express is based upon that extensive experience – applied to the special conditions present around a merger: the need to work at break-neck speed; the importance of working very closely and intensively with a steering group (ideally a combined-firm task force of partners and marketers); the benefits of quickly defining the branding questions that need to be answered and then rapidly answering them.

Our most senior team (led by Principia’s CEO Ian Stephens) works hands-on with the steering group throughout and can bring to the table the best practices, experiences and objectivity that ensure quick and effective decision making and ultimately the best results.

The activities and deliverables required for each merger situation will be different but are likely to include:

Activities & deliverables

    • Advising on scope and defining the merger brand agenda and priorities.
    • Convening and briefing a combined-firm steering group of partners and marketers.
    • Assessing what relevant data and insights exist and what additional data can be quickly obtained from existing sources.
    • Developing a high-level strategic brand narrative statement and key messages for the new merged firm.
    • Defining the naming strategy, best objective options and brand equity migration approach for naming the new firm (in the event that eventually some names will be dropped).
    • Designing high-level materials required for launch-day (e.g. new logo, business cards, website landing pages, signage, etc.)
    • Planning an internal brand engagement programme and materials ahead of and at the time of the launch, (e.g. leadership video, key messages guide, etc.).
    • Contact us in strictest confidence to discuss the service and potential scope.
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