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Mergers & Acquisitions

What is Acquisition Branding? Plus 5 Tips & Tricks

  • By Dennis McMahon
  • August 14, 2023
What is Acquisition Branding? Plus 5 Tips & Tricks

5 Acquisition Branding Tips and Tricks

The secret to a successful recipe often lies in tried-and-true techniques and a dash of creativity. Drawing from industry best practices and significant case studies, we offer five key acquisition branding tips and tricks. Think of these as your secret ingredients, guiding you through the twists and turns of the brand integration journey.

Take a 360-View of Everything

Remember when Disney and Pixar decided to combine their creative forces? They were uniting more than just businesses; they were fusing two unique cultures. Disney smartly took time to appreciate Pixar’s distinctive culture, a key ingredient in Pixar’s recipe for success. Preserving this culture post-merger ensured that Pixar’s magic remained unaltered, continuing to captivate audiences worldwide.

Identify the Strengths of Both Organizations

The Facebook-Instagram merger offers a masterclass in leveraging strengths. Spotting Instagram’s potential in the rapidly expanding photo-sharing niche, Facebook chose to acquire Instagram rather than mimic its success. This wise move allowed Facebook to strengthen its social media dominance by harnessing Instagram’s strength.

Keep the Customer in Mind

When Microsoft welcomed Skype into its portfolio, it didn’t just gain a new business—it inherited a vast user base. Microsoft wisely decided to keep the Skype brand running to maintain user familiarity and ease. Customers appreciated this seamless transition, which demonstrated the power of a customer-centric approach.

Refine and Polish Your Image

The merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot, forming Stellantis, is an exemplar of brand refinement. Instead of mashing two logos together, they crafted a new name and logo that signaled their shared ambition of leading in the electric vehicle space. The result? A polished brand image that emanates a progressive, future-forward vibe.

Engage Employees

Vodafone and Idea’s merger in India highlights the importance of employee engagement. As the two telecommunication giants morphed into ‘Vi,’ they made sure their employees were part of the transformation journey. This strategy fostered a sense of ownership among employees and smoothed the transition, underscoring the fact that brand building isn’t a one-person show—it’s a collaborative effort.

Acquisition Branding Strategies

With these tips at your disposal, it’s time to pick your acquisition branding strategy. Let’s take inspiration from some of the most notable merger and acquisition stories:

Retain the Identities of Both Companies

When Facebook acquired WhatsApp, it chose to keep the WhatsApp brand, given its massive global user base. This ‘business-as-usual’ approach allowed WhatsApp users to continue enjoying the service they loved, unhindered by the corporate reshuffling behind the scenes.

Combine Both Companies

When United Airlines and Continental Airlines decided to merge, they adopted a blended approach—United’s name and Continental’s logo and livery. This fusion resulted in a brand that was fresh yet familiar, easing the transition for the customers of both airlines.

Elevate the Better Known Brand

When Disney acquired 21st Century Fox, it strategically decided to drop ‘Fox’ from the 20th Century Fox brand. This move leveraged Disney’s worldwide recognition and brand strength to the advantage of the newly combined entity.

Create a New Brand

In the T-Mobile and Sprint merger, the companies made a bold decision—they chose to operate entirely under the T-Mobile brand. This clean-slate approach capitalized on T-Mobile’s better reputation and larger customer base, allowing the merged entity to hit the ground running.


Acquisition branding, much like crafting a new recipe, is a vital component in the world of mergers and acquisitions. By learning from examples like Disney and Pixar, Facebook and Instagram, and understanding the obstacles faced in less successful cases, companies can better traverse the complex process of acquisition branding.

Whether you choose to retain both identities, blend them, elevate the more popular brand, or create a new brand from scratch, the decision can shape your company’s future. Acquisition branding isn’t just about swapping logos or changing color schemes—it’s about crafting a brand that embodies shared values, goals, and visions.

So here’s the bottom line: while every merger or acquisition presents its unique challenges, the journey can be smoother when you tailor your approach to your specific context. And remember, there’s no harm in seeking expert advice.

Ready to make your brand the talk of the town? Contact us today for a consultation. Let’s cook up a brand that leaves a lasting impression!

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