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M&As and Corporate Visual Identity: An Exploratory Study

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The ‘identity’ of a company, including ‘visual’ elements, is one of its most valuable assets and thus should be carefully managed. One of the most testing times for a visual identity system is when a merger or acquisition occurs. An important question that arises is what corporate visual identity (CVI) should the post-merger entity adopt? Should one of the company CVIs continue and, if so, should it be that of the acquirer or target? Or should a hybrid or completely new CVI be developed for the new entity? Company CVI practice is examined in an exploratory study of 90 mergers and acquisitions that took place over a six-year period. In 80 per cent of the cases, the CVI of the acquiring company was employed post-merger. When the target's CVI was retained this was usually for a subsidiary or major brand of the new entity. Few instances of hybrid or new CVIs were found. Case examples are provided, the findings discussed and directions for future research provided.Corporate Reputation Review (2004) 7, 181–194; doi:10.1057/palgrave.crr.1540219

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2004


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