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Solving brand challenges in a three-way merger

Objective

Our client’s organization was forming through a merger of three leading hospice and palliative care organizations. However, each of these three legacy organizations had unique brands, attributes, a history in its local market and strong internal allegiances. Building a unified brand would be a challenge, not least in naming. Using one of the legacy names, developing a hybrid of two or more legacy names and starting fresh with something new were all options under consideration, with no clear agreement on the way forward. The new organization’s brand also needed to engage loyalists, unify the three entities, present a compelling, synergistic story, and position it as the leading provider.

Discovery

Our Strategy & Planning team began by conducting extensive brand studies with referral sources, consumers and internal audiences to understand awareness and preference of the legacy organizations as well as how they performed on the attributes most important to those audiences. We also conducted a half-day interactive, cross-functional brand workshop designed to bring key players together from across the new organization to develop the foundational elements of their new brand, including directions for name development.

Insight & Strategy

Our research revealed that consumers and professionals favored the legacy names, while internal audiences preferred a new name and identity but with some connection to the past. Our strategy and creative teams worked together to develop a robust list of legally vetted and viable name candidates that included new names as well as hybrids of the three legacy brands. Each name option was presented with additional context showing how the legacy brands could be reflected through taglines, logos, colors, and program sub-brands. Movéo then led a process (including board presentations) to bring together research learnings, workshop outcomes and real-world implications relevant to the new brand so that an informed decision could be made.

Implementation

Through Movéo’s process, the client chose a legacy name that had powerful external and internal support in combination with a refreshed tagline, logo and visual identity (developed by Movéo) that provided a deeper sense of the partnership between the three legacy organizations. Given the number of audiences and goals involved, we recommended building brand awareness in a strategic, three-part phased approach (internal, external, maintain). The in-depth naming exploration and testing created a strong foundation for starting phase 1— building the brand internally, in which we executed supporting tactics such as brand guidelines, brand book, video, collateral and meeting support. Movéo then implemented Phases 2 and 3 of the brand building, an external promotion/sales effort that included multi-channel media, paid advertising, sponsorships, nurture e-mails, and targeted online media.

Results

Movéo helped the client navigate a sensitive and complex branding journey from three distinct legacy organizations to a single unified entity. With our research insights in hand, our client could present a compelling case to internal audiences for the adoption of a legacy name to represent the new entity while developing a new visual identity and naming architecture that honored the collective past of the three organizations. After an internal roll out of the new unified brand, and external launch to hospice referrers, donors and the public was successfully completed as well.

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