Where does the brand (and brand value) stand in the M&A process?
Factual, quantifiable brand data should be collated and analysed right at the beginning of the process — what I referred to in a previous blog as ‘The War Room’ — least because:
The brand is a catalyst for mergers and acquisitions. A brand’s overall health and performance generate as much interest for potential mergers and acquisitions as a business’ other financial assets. Strong brands — ones with a good reputation, awareness, and customer loyalty — are often part of what makes a prospective merger a viable one.
The role of the brand is changing. Brand’s role in business and society continues to evolve. The rise of ESG factors as a mainstream metric for businesses has changed corporate conversations, shifting the focus from shareholders to stakeholders. It is no longer about merely meeting financial objectives but more about making sure that the company’s values align with those of customers, employees, and investors. And the brand plays a crucial role in conveying these values.
In his foreword to our book, ‘Future-Proof Your Brand’, Ralph Hamers, former CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of ING, and current CEO of UBS Group, says of brands: “…[brands have now become] a reference point that connects, engages, and brings purpose and meaning. This is a relatively new role for brands, but an increasingly important one, because a relevant and differentiating identity is a condition for a strong reputation and sustainable success. It creates competitive advantage, contributes to profitability, and is both an enabler and success factor for constructive change.” Recognising this helps create more opportunities to maximise brand value during and after mergers and acquisitions.