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M&A Minute: Launching A New Website Post-M&A

May 29, 2024

Greetings. I’m Bill Gullan, President of Finch Brands. This is M&A Minute. We are a real-world brand consultancy. Today, we’re going to talk about a tactical but important question. When should you launch a new website in the wake of M&A activity?

When to Build a Post-M&A Website

This is specifically for organizations that are integrating in meaningful ways. An example is if some brand names are going away and the goal of the brand architecture, coming out of the deal, is for something that is streamlined. Something that either is bringing equities together into one place or significantly compresses the digital footprint of the firm to create a central fact of existence within the digital realm.

If that’s in the plan, when is the right time to launch an integrated website? A website is a central artifact of your business. This is certainly true in B2B categories where it is a dominant lead generation source for sales and marketing activity in the consumer realm. The web is important to transactions as well.

The temptation is to launch a new website on day one of an acquisition or merger. It creates greater communication efficiency and a greater sense of convergence. It brings everyone to one place. In some cases, it makes sense to launch that integrated website right away. 

That said, there is a counterpoint. Again, the right answer is based on the very specific nuances of the companies involved, the category, etc. But one alternative that we’ve pursued with clients is based on the fact that acquired brands are often not sunsetting on day one.

Aligning Brand Migration with the New Website Launch

There’s going to be a migration path. At the end of that migration, which can take months or even years, you have brought along the team, the broader market, customers, and prospects with the deal so they know that change is happening.

But while you’re migrating, that full change has not been affected yet. It might make sense to tie the new integrated website to the end of the migration, not the deal. The new website ultimately goes live in an integrated way once that migration is complete.

Now, the counterpoint to that is that you miss out on the efficiency benefits. You miss out on the ability to bring people into one central place, which might be fundamental to the deal thesis.

H3: Crafting Landing Pages for Mergers and Acquisitions

One workaround that we found is creating temporary landing pages for the companies involved. So, when someone visits one of those sites, there’s a dedicated landing page that talks about the deal. It talks about what’s happening and the vision for the future. 

But once one clicks through that landing page, one goes to the legacy site. Now, on the legacy site, the powered buyer or the endorser might be there. The main hero image or content might be the press release announcing the transaction, talking about what’s staying the same as well as what’s different.

Then, for the period of time that those constituent brands still exist, the web experience enables those who visit to navigate to the places that they’re familiar with: the products and services, the client relations capabilities within the website, the locations of the business, etc. That’s a way of taking that path to herald newness and to suggest that a new integrated experience is coming.

What it doesn’t do is confuse the market. It doesn’t leave stakeholders at a loss for what’s happening or how to access the information they’re familiar with. Again, there is no singular right answer. It should be based on individual characteristics and considerations. 

Create an Integrated and Purposeful M&A Website

It may not make sense for the integrated website to launch as the deal closes. It may be better for that to occur further down the path when communications with stakeholders have transpired.

Some of the key questions to answer include how the product and service lines are being rationalized, how the sales and marketing team is being organized, and how the client success and customer service team will serve existing vs. new customers. 

Once those decisions are made, it will be easier to create an integrated website that is logical and that helps folks get to the right place. The crucial question is when and how to launch the market-facing digital integration, such as a website and related technical capabilities, to the broader marketplace.That’s our M&A Minute. If you have any questions, contact Finch Brands today and subscribe to our YouTube channel for future videos.

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