Three Must-Do’s During a Merger or Acquisition

Being involved in a merger or acquisition is something most healthcare marketers will do at least once in their careers (okay, multiple times). It’s easy to get tunnel vision and focus on the immediate requests by their CEO, physicians  the media. Even if you’re already on the treadmill that is a rebranding initiative, take a few minutes to consider the following must-do items to ensure a successful rebrand.

Establish a Baseline and Goals

Research should include community members as well as the staff of both health systems. A road map to a final NewCo brand cannot be developed without knowing the starting point. Everyone involved needs to clearly understand the obstacles to overcome and the strengths to leverage as the new brand is developed.

Review the baseline data in detail. Where do you want to see key metrics one month after the brand launch? Three months? A year? Set goals early to ensure all decisions made going forward work toward these goals.

Communicate Frequently

By seeking input and being as transparent as possible with employees and the community, those who have reservations will have an opportunity to have their questions and concerns addressed, while champions will be empowered with knowledge to continue to drive the new brand forward. In addition to pushing information out, it’s just as important if not more important to create an avenue for feedback and questions. Some ideas to improve communications include:

  • Merger-focused microsite
  • Town Hall meetings (internal and community)
  • Letters to the editor, ads and other public communication
  • E-newsletter
  • Email address or contact form
  • Diligent monitoring of social media and local news website forums

Plan for the Full Scope 

As marketers, it’s easy to get caught up in the naming, logo, mission and launch campaign. A successful rebrand involves operations, marketing and clinical teams who must work together to determine success metrics and milestones for the merger across both organizations. Rebranding efforts often get derailed by unexpected costs of integration and brand implementation. Advanced planning not only ensure the rebrand progresses as scheduled, but it also allows for the exploration of a way to reduce costs throughout the implementation process. One of the most important things is to understand the various options and costs of rolling out the new brand.

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