Conclusion:In the last three years company mergers in the IT industry worldwide have shrunk the number of technology related brands. New brands arising from the acquisition of companies, such as HP and Compaq, need to be reinforced by a renewed marketing effort to convey what the new brand means i.e. its service offer, value proposition, product range, style and so on.

The new merged brands are not the sum of their two parts. In some cases these brands have to reorganise their products and redefine how to sell them to achieve what they expected as a consequence of the merger or takeover. The effort on branding, that is on the style and presentation of a brand is not always persuasive on its own. A focus on product and service is essential, yet can be overlooked, even though consumers are now more able to assess the value of brands than in the past.

For buyers of technology products, whether for home use or business, the value of a brand is an essential element in the decision to buy. But as Chris Morris discussed in “What to do when your Vendor gets Acquired” (IBRS July 2003) a company’s product is a real thing, with services and functional components and management has discretion on whether to change it or let it stay, based on the design of the new business model after a merger or takeover.

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Guy Cranswick

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Guy Cranswick