Marketing Tips, Articles & Tools

Strategy for Brand Consolidation

By Jeff Dietrich, Plug Media Group

The decision about whether or not to consolidate brands is a common topic these days, particularly as many businesses have either merged with or acquired other brands in efforts to increase service/product offerings or gain profitability and competitive advantage while reducing operating costs.

Consider each brand's value. Questions to ask would include how much marketshare stands to be lost or gained by consolidation of these brands, or the extent to which your customer base feels loyalty towards one brand over the other. Also think about where each brand is in terms of segmentation (i.e. is it a price/value brand or a premium service/elite brand, and does it make sense to combine them?)

Start by sampling your customer base. The goal is to discover tangible and intangible value or benefits to a consolidation. Ask them how they feel about a particular brand and how its disappearance or inclusion into an umbrella brand might impact how they feel their needs will continue to be met or improved upon. Some may have concerns that a company will lose focus; some will perceive it as a benefit to them; to others there will be little or no impact.

You'll also want to consider corporate culture, operations, and customer interface impact. (think everything from websites and social media to stationery and invoices and how your messaging and conversation with customers will need to be redeveloped)

Minimize risk through sufficient preparation. Accurate and thoughtful analysis can help prepare the organization, without leaving customers, managers and business relations confused.

At the end of the day, an umbrella rebrand can help streamline marketing costs where brand awareness is concerned, and sister or child brands can be developed into product or service divisions without sacrificing marketshare.

Much also depends on whether you are talking about product brands or service/corporate brands. For example, few people know that Clorox is actually the parent company that owns Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing. And, after all, you wouldn't want your ranch dressing in a bleach bottle would you?

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