“Brand Management in conjunction with Merger and Acquisition in Theory and Practice – Volvo Car Corporation”
Sammanfattning: Aim: This study deals with Brand Management after acquisitions. Since this subject is still quite unexplored, a case study backed the theoretical review in order to answer the two research questions. Furthermore, the work educes a model which shows the ascendancies that are involved in the field of Brand Management after acquisitions. It is the aim to reveal the necessity of strong branding for acquired companies and the importance of the continuity of their presenting brand values. I hope this paper adds new knowledge in the Brand Management sector in connection with acquisitions and gives the reader a proper understanding about the issue. Method: The study occupies a theoretical and an empirical study. The theory part presents a selection of theories and models developed by scholars in the field of business administration. While the first research question concerning brand equity after acquisitions is addressed in the theoretical review in chapter 3, the second question regarding brand image is mainly discussed during the empirical part. The data for the latter was primarily obtained by a case study which is a qualitative method and occupies interviews and discussions. Result: Brand Management has become a key issue for companies and is a sensitive subject in the context of Merger and Acquisition. Hence, it is a challenge for the acquirer and the acquired company to manage control and adapt to the new situation. Brand equity as a key asset of Brand Management is the amount of loyalty a customer has towards a brand and it is certainly influenced by such transactions as M&A. In the real-life comparison of the specific case it proved to be successful for the acquirer to maintain the autonomy of the acquired brand and continue the meaning of the brand. In addition, the loyalty of the customers is of great importance to assure a smooth process of the business operations. Suggestions for future research: Due to the current situation and constant changes it would be interesting to repeat the study some time in the future for a final conclusion. Furthermore, since the findings for the empirical part of this study are based on a strong acquired brand, it would be interesting to investigate the case of another company of weaker nature, and maybe of a different branch. The high profile of the target firm and its strong brand values had a remarkable influence on the revelations of this study. Contribution of the thesis: The result of this study helps companies to maintain their brand values during an acquisition. The research adds new knowledge in the brand management sector in connection with acquisitions, and it is useful for companies which are involved in M&A activities.
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