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M&A internal rebranding: think people first, then operations

Posted on Categories BrandonomicsTags

When it comes to M&A, think people and culture first, then the mechanic of merging operations. Robin Tooms discusses internal branding during transitions with Jane Henry, CEO of Xcution, Inc., a management consulting firm.

Robin: Hello, and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I’m Robin Tooms, VP of Strategy at Savage Brands. And my guest again today is Jane Henry, CEO of Xcution, Inc. So, Jane, welcome back to Brandonomics.

Jane: It’s a pleasure to be here, Robin.

Robin: Jane, thank you so much for talking with us about internal branding. I can tell you, from my perspective, some of the most challenging times to look at internal brand is during a merger or an acquisition. So, when you’re working with a company that’s just re-branded and they’re going through that process, what do you recommend they look at internally?

Jane: So, first thing is to talk to the transition team and have a conversation about – it’s not just about the mechanics, the operations and the process of the business. But, it’s about retaining those people, thinking about, “What are the core values of the people that you’re acquiring and what are our own core values?” For instance, there was a Mormon-based company that we worked with in Salt Lake City. And what was interesting is, it was all about family, community and their giving program. Well, for the Fortune 100 business that was acquiring them, that wasn’t necessarily the same. They hadn’t established that program from themselves. So, that was something that actually became where they could come together and they ended up retaining over 90 percent of their employees and thus over 90 percent of their customers.

Robin: So, what you’re really saying is that companies that are going through this process typically think about the process and operational changes first, when they should be thinking about culture?

Jane: Absolutely, it’s “mechanics, mechanics, mechanics.” I can’t tell you how many times we go into different organizations and it’s like – they’re thinking about operations and process when it really should be the people.

Robin: Yeah. So important. Thank you for sharing that, Jane.

Jane: Yes. It’s my pleasure.

Robin: This has been another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.


Xcution is a management consulting company that implements strategic change to unleash true velocity behind initiatives. Xcution works directly with mangers supporting strategic initiatives, projects and operations to create high-performing, results-driven and execution-focused teams.

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