Help! Where do we start after a merger?

Bringing together two companies is challenging and time consuming work. You have to integrate back-end systems all while negotiating a mix of financial, legal, and operational hurdles. Most of all, you have to build or refine your brand. But how do you bring together two companies to create a unified new brand?

It all starts with your content. 

There’s a lot to consider. A new go-to-market strategy, customer journey mapping, and extensive strategizing. To fuel that engine, you need an aligned content operation. Crafting consistent brand content — that uses a unified tone of voice — is pivotal to the success of your merger or acquisition. 

Why? Because it’s challenging enough to merge two brands without creating customer confusion. A blurry brand identity and mixed messaging dilute the value of your combined brand and make a successful brand merger nearly impossible. 

But if you do unify your brand content both customers and employees will benefit. A confident brand voice cuts through confusion and assures your audience of your market position and company identity. Plus, your employees have a clear sense of the future direction of the business. 

Let’s learn how to merge two brand content operations (and apply changes at enterprise scale) in the steps below. 

Step one: Cover the basics

The reality is, after a merger, one or both of the companies will find themselves looking at “all new everything.” That means you have to rebuild from the ground up. From office signage and logos to email signatures and everything in between — to accurately represent the new enterprise and visual identity. 

And while that might sound like just swapping out one company name for another, it’s never that easy.

Be systematic in your approach. And consider all your corporate branding, everything from slide decks to product names. Your content and brand elements have to be in sync. 

The Content Owner’s Guide to Surviving an M&A A six-step workflow for combining two disparate content operations

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Step two: Develop a strategy and update your messaging 

After merging companies, the inevitable first question is: What are our combined business goals? Then you translate that into your content needs. 

Short term, you might want to simply communicate the merger to your audience. Longer term, you’ll probably want to build greater awareness and generate more leads for your newly combined brand.

You also need to develop your content staples — the things that everyone from every department needs. Core messaging – like boilerplates, a mission statement, and product descriptions – are a fundamental pillar of your brand architecture. 

This is the best way to make sure everyone who’s touching your content is aligned to your strategy and propelling your business goals forward. 

For more details, check out our strategy worksheets in our eBook!

Step three: Get aligned on style and tone

Your company’s voice is how your brand’s character comes across in the written word. It’s

not just about what you say, but the way you say it, and the impression it makes on your readers. It’s how you cut through the noise and build authority. 

Re-examine and adjust your voice as needed to reflect your combined businesses. Maybe one company has a stronger voice that you want to adopt across the board. Or you want to combine the best aspects of both. 

Either way, a clearly defined brand voice that everyone uses will solidify your brand identity and deliver a consistent customer experience. 

Step four: Establish a process focused on quality and scale

How can you enforce your strategy effectively across different offices and geographies? And what’s the best way to deploy changes quickly and accurately across large amounts of content?

After you’ve decided to merge, you need a content approval process that accommodates your new brand strategy. The right technology automates this work, saving time and frustration. All while quality checking new and existing content. It’s never been easier to track your content’s style at scale.

Better yet, a content governance platform helps you measure and report on success through content analytics. 

Step five: Address the legacy content and start creating

Once you have a process, you need to access both companies’ legacy content and systematically update, repurpose, or retire it as needed. Make sure to include your technical documentation, knowledge base repositories, and marketing materials.

If you want to analyze how aligned your legacy content is to your new guidelines, a content governance platform gives you this insight and acts as a quality gate. Through automation, it checks your content so you have a clear picture of what content falls short and how to fix it.

It’s also worth making a list of the new content you need to support the combined business.

Merging happily ever after!

Getting all of this right is critical. Content is one of the best tools you have to help maintain customer confidence and loyalty. 

For more tips, worksheets, and a thorough deep dive into this topic, download our free eBook. Or if you want to see how Acrolinx’s content governance platform streamlines your merger, let’s talk.

The Content Owner’s Guide to Surviving an M&A A six-step workflow for combining two disparate content operations

Download now