Blog: Those Silly Long Merger Names
27 Aug 2017
Those silly long merger names
Joachim ter Haar, August 27th, 2017
On a regular basis we are asked to develop a naming strategy and names for mergers. This can be a sensitive issue, presenting opportunity and insecurity at the same time. A new name is the definitive step. An emotional choice, yet one that needs to be approached rationally. And now we are fortunate to be in the same position.
Basically three branding scenarios can be identified and all three can work. The first is to use one of the existing names. Technically this is an efficient option. No new identity is needed and the equity of just one brand needs to be transferred. If one of the brands hold significantly more equity, it might be an option; but this is more common with take overs and that is not the case here.
The second option is to use a combination of the names of the merging partners. This leverages existing equity: all stakeholders recognize their trusted brands in the new name. A new visual identity will add additional value at first. After that, it is the proposition that has to prove it’s worth and create additional value. The investments can be fairly limited, one of the reasons why this is a popular choice. The downside is that the new company name is often long and less a bit strange. AstraZeneca, ExxonMobil and Price Waterhouse Coopers would certainly not be on any long list when looking for a new company name.
The third possibility is to develop a new name altogether. A completely new brand platform to which existing equity of the merging partners will have to be transferred at considerable cost and risk. The strategic benefits will often outweigh the risks. The clean break enables the company to develop its values freely, not limited by the echo’s from the past. The branding sends a message, internally and externally, supporting integration and the new positioning.
And now it’s our turn. Our first instinct was to go for a new name. The mother of all names to be precise, our primary calling card and service. Reviewing all aspects of the case we came to a different conclusion. Skriptor and Zigila have well-developed home markets. Word of mouth is our most important business driver and the predominantly project based business model creates irregular client contact. In our case, it simply makes more sense to leverage the existing brand equity. As a result we now proudly present: Skriptor Zigila.
We will be the first to admit it is long and somewhat complex in use. It is also very distinctive in our category, an important condition to the name. We have come to love the elegant complexity and are confident it will help us claim our unique position. A kind of Häagen Dazs: a quirky name, but very tasty and welcome anytime anywhere.
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Joachim ter Haar
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