Ebook: Blending Two Identities Into One: Rebranding and the Healthcare Merger

Retaining some elements and unleashing others can benefit a newly merged enterprise by building upon existing equity and taking the brand to the next level.

Healthcare entities merge in order to take their combined enterprise to a new, higher place in the market and society. Rebranding gives that new place a stronger public connection, one built with the past in mind and looking toward the future. And, while the pre-merger period is often a very anxious time marked by rumors and uncertainty for employees, rebranding will renew pride among the now combined staffs and create the unity to move forward.

There’s no trick to doing it right because rebranding isn’t magic.

It is a process, consistent in desired goals and elastic in how to achieve them for each unique entity.

There are, however, plenty of questions to be asked and answered. What do we call the new entity? How do we retain the brand equity of both organizations? How fast do we want to transition? How will our new name and brand identity communicate our values and principles?

Answering these questions – and others that arise during the rebranding – is all part of the process.

Question 1: What do we call the new entity?

There are basically three answers to this question. You can retain one of the two current names. You can combine the two names into one mega name. Or, you can create a new name that replaces both.

When American Airlines merged with US Airways, the combined airline retained only the American Airlines name and its holding company was renamed American Airlines Group Inc. Though the name remained American Airlines, the merger was accompanied by a new logo, something that had not changed in 45 years. The new logo kept the idea of “American” by utilizing red, white and blue and the airline’s familiar use of the eagle, stylized in a sleek new symbol. Instead of a merger, we witnessed a wedding of sorts: something old, something new, something borrowed and something red, white and blue…..

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