M&A activity is at peak levels
Global mergers and acquisitions hit new highs in 2021. PWC estimates that the number of deals announced in 2021 exceed 66,000, up an unprecedented 24% from 2020. Of the total transactions, only 130 were mega deals with a value of over $5B. This means thousands of brands are being acquired and traded on a weekly basis. This flurry of activity is expected to continue in 2022.
Learn more: The Ultimate Playbook for M&A Rebrands
Peak activity, peak challenges
Once an acquisition is made, senior management expects the acquired entity to be brought into the “fold” quickly. Not only is integration an operating imperative, but it is also critical to ensure consistency as the brand portfolio evolves. In addition to M&A-driven activity, rebranding is also being influenced by market forces that are speeding up the pace of rebranding change:
- Market share. Whether dropping overall or dropping in a key segment, share loss likely means that the brand has lost differentiation.
- Competitor entries. Being an entrenched leader does not guard against emerging threats. New entrants trigger rebranding, especially as competitive boundaries are more permeable than ever.
- Reputational changes. Circumstances tied to political climate, leadership, accidents or human errors up-end brands overnight increasing the speed with which brand managers must act.
- Business evolution. Whether the company has new products and services or enters a new market, the brand must adapt to present a clear message and experience.
Consistency is elusive
We have written extensively about ecosystems and the pace with which brand teams must now operate. For brand managers driving brand consistency, it requires an integrated set of tools that include personality, technology, and process. Our model for consistency is represented below:
The end state is a governance system that allows the brands to scale internally and externally. The resolution of a major rebranding effort is often encapsulated in guidelines– but that is not enough for consistency. The brand manager of this new era is looking at their management style and evolving it too. Many are moving away from being a ‘brand cop’ by evolving their style to incorporate a brand concierge mentality, which includes different notions of partnerships, collaboration, and user-generated content. At the foundation of this solution is the Brand Center, an enabling enterprise platform to facilitate the content that makes up the company’s branded assets.
BAM vs. DAM
Content is not just assets. Content is everything that gives your brand its look and feel, and shapes how consumers and employees see you—from logos and templates, to videos and graphics, to guidelines and training modules. That’s why your content is so valuable: it’s a critical part of the business process and identity. When you think about managing that content and what it means to your broader business goals with a variety of audiences and stakeholders, a DAM isn’t enough. And that is where a BAM comes in.
We know that many brands today need more than a typical Digital Asset Management system; this is where a Brand Management System comes in (and why we created our own proprietary tool called BEAM). A BAM advances and sustains your organization’s growth, strategically and holistically. It enables the governance process you will need to navigate the changes that are on the horizon.
Learn more: DAM system vs. BAM system
So, is it time for a brand center?
The answer is yes. As a brand leader you are likely rebrand sooner than you think. The market, customers, and competitive forces are moving with a momentum unlike any time in history. The change you will have to implement will arrive and need quick action. But systems mature slower than thinking. So, to stay in front of your tomorrow, investing time and resources in a brand center should start now. It’s like leaving the house with an umbrella because rain is in the forecast. Your brand will rebrand, and a brand center is your way to walk through that process comfortably.
Interested in how a brand center can help your brand? Connect with us to learn more.