In this guest post, Carolyn Milliman, Marketing Analyst at WebCheckout, shares her top branding considerations to think about before selling your business.
Business leaders thinking of selling their company will often first consider the tangible impacts to their stakeholders: Will customer service improve or degrade? Will employees have more opportunities or fewer opportunities?
However, one consideration that is commonly overlooked is the impact an acquisition will have on your brand. When I say “brand,” I’m not just talking about the name of your company, I’m talking about the impact an acquisition has on how your company is perceived by customers and employees.
Acquisition can offer a great opportunity for a brand refresh. Updated messaging or a new visual identity can help to reshape your company’s persona in the marketplace.
Here are some branding considerations to keep in mind when considering the sale of your software business.
6 Post-Acquisition Branding Considerations for Software Leaders
1. Brand Equity: Try to gain an understanding of your market. How much equity does your brand have in the marketplace and how does that compare to your competitors and potential buyers? Does your visual identity, messaging and tone of voice align with others in the marketplace? Does your branding stand out in any way – if not, how could it?
2. Employee Perceptions: How does your talent feel about your brand? Consider how your employees would potentially react to a change in branding. Ask managers and staff to give you feedback on your ideas as you contemplate a re-brand.
3. Customer Perceptions: How do your customers feel about your brand? Consider how your customers would potentially react to a change in branding. Ask customers to give you feedback on your ideas as you contemplate a re-brand.
4. Branding History: Has your company ever re-branded? Learn from your past experiences and consider how any changes to branding affected market perceptions. If your company doesn’t have much experience with re-branding, you could connect with leaders in your network to hear their branding challenges and successes.
5. Geography: Acquisition can open the doors to geographic expansion. What does your brand mean to your local market, and how might your branding need to change to adapt to new markets? Consider speaking with leaders in new geographies to ensure a firm understanding of local influences.
6. Industry: Do you operate in more than one industry? If so, consider how splitting your company into separate brands could allow you to deliver more targeted messaging to each audience.
Your Brand After Acquisition
As you can see, there is a lot to consider beyond “will my company keep its name” post-acquisition. Taking the time to think about the questions above will help you determine what you want your company’s brand to be post-acquisition.