Company acquisitions and mergers are nearly a daily occurrence. While they are common strategies, when it comes to the actual integration process and consideration of what it will do in terms of the outward facing aspects of the business become anything but common.
The challenge is to ensure that any integration can keep the values inherent in the brand image and the overall experience intact so that customers can still remain confident that nothing actually will change as these acquisitions often promise.
Case in point is the recent majority acquisition of WeGoLook, an online and mobile collaborative economy platform, by Crawford & Company, one of the world’s largest independent providers of claims management solutions. The majority acquisition was approved and totals over $36 million.
Combining the resources of one of the world’s largest TPA firms with one of the world’s largest sharing economy platforms will result in true innovation within the insurance industry during a time when most carriers continue to operate in a legacy manner.
Dispatching on-demand "lookers" to capture data in the form of photos and video, taking measurements, answering custom questions and performing low-complex tasks result in a much faster flow of correct information to the carrier and policyholder. In turn, this means a faster flow of funds back to them.
All of this ensures an enhanced customer experience says Robin Smith, CEO of WeGoLook. “By partnering with Crawford, WeGoLook will have the potential for continued growth, effectively creating the opportunity for more enterprise clients to utilize the sharing economy and provide a more robust customer experience.”
When communicating what this acquisition means to customers, these are the critical messages that need to be shared, illustrating how the merger is making the customer experience even better than before by adding key benefits for insurance company customers.
In terms of branding, this acquisition can be positioned as a partnership that involves taking two companies and putting them together to make a stronger brand that comes together on such shared values of innovation and client relationships.
Together, the brands can make each other better than they were when working separately, having the ability to access more resources in the form of talent and proprietary technology as well as bolstering the sustainability of each company by now being able to scale up and take on a larger customer base.
Harsha V. Agadi, President and CEO of Crawford & Company says they are “thrilled to be working with WeGoLook as the combination of our two companies will infuse Crawford with fresh ideas and expertise, as well as add an attractive brand with a business model for the future.”
There’s also a benefit when it comes to building brand relevance.
In his post entitled “General Mills Gains Relevance Through Products and Acquisition,” David Aaker tells how General Mills was able to gain relevance through strategic acquisitions (and new products i.e. Annie’s Mac & Cheese). “They saw a relevance challenge early and responded with acquisitions, investments in products and programs,” says Aaker. “And a sense of direction powered by their mission and values. The value of real commitment shows.”
When a brand shows that value of commitment – that they are willing to make changes not just for the betterment of their bottom line but to its customers as well, they will ultimately be successful.
This article was written by Steve Olenski from Forbes.