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We are Family: Managing the brand through merger


I was reading about an acquisition this week. As always, I’m amazed by the flowery, idyllic language used to “sell” the union to the business press, such as “a merger of equals” or “a marriage of complementary technology.” Anyone who has participated in a merger or acquisition knows that all the pretty words are really just “a confluence of crap.”

In a merger or acquisition, there is the victor (collector of the spoils) and the vanquished. One has overtaken the other in the market. If the company that is in the weaker position has enough to offer, its leadership may get some pretty sweet parting gifts. For those remaining behind, both the winners and not-the-winners, things may not be all peace and harmony. They won’t be singing we We Are Family."

Merging Internally

Before all public eyes are on you, you need to get your act together inside the company. (If you are a public company, you have to be careful about how much and when you disclose information.) A transition strategy for bringing together employees is key.

Some things to consider:

So why do you care?

Building your brand starts from within. No one expects to circle the campfire singing Kum Ba Yah, but showing respect and acknowledging and resolving concerns, will bring people together to build a unified team. Manage the uncertainty with communication. Be clear about the goals. The transition and growth of your brand starts as an inside job.

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