June 19, 2014

How private equity firms can enhance their own brands with brand implementation experts

Private equity firms were in the public spotlight during the 2012 presidential campaign, when Mitt Romney’s connection to Bain Capital caused a media frenzy, even making the cover of Rolling Stone. Reputation management, including brand management, is still on the minds of private equity firms.

I recently read BackBay Communication’s Private Equity Brand Equity III research report, which shows how private equity firms are now taking a more proactive approach to brand management. A summary of the 2014 research report on BackBay Communication’s blog narrowed it down to five primary reasons: (1) increased competition; (2) maturing market; (3) broadening of the asset mix; (4) increasing public and regulatory scrutiny; and (5) the retail market. http://www.backbaycommunications.com/blog/2014/february/increasing-importance-brand-private-equity-industry

I liked that the survey included a mix of individuals in the private equity ecosystem, and wasn’t surprised by the findings. Brand management has become a priority in many industries, and for private equity firms, it is twice as important. Not only can brand management and brand implementation experts add value during M&A activity, as I discussed in my last blog, they can also help private equity firms with their own branding needs.

Here are 4 ways brand implementation experts can help private equity firms with their own needs:

• Brand Awareness: According to the report, private equity firms are investing more money into their own investor relations, public relations, advertising and website efforts. What we’ve found is that physical assets are often overlooked as brand awareness generators. Brand implementation experts can help a private equity firm leverage physical touchpoints (vehicles, signs, etc.) to increase brand awareness for the firm and its portfolio companies.

• Differentiation: Private equity firms are seeing increased competition, and need to position themselves as more attractive to companies looking to be acquired, as well as potential investors, referral sources and employees. Actively showing the firm to be a brand builder with a strong brand management focus can set a private equity firm apart from its competitors.

• Speed of Integration: Whether rapid brand implementation is a regulatory requirement or simply good business practices, ensuring brand equity remains intact or increases is essential. A private equity firm that demonstrates expertise with its own strong brand strengthens its merger integration reputation for new deals.

• Reputation: A strong brand tells the world what the private equity firm stands for, based on the words and actions of the firm’s management team, employees and alliances. The strategic approach to brand management helps the firm source deals by staying top-of-mind for referral sources and decision makers. It can also help the firm with fundraising and hiring.

As competition grows and brand management increases, using the same branding best practices as other industries can help private equity firms thrive. Bringing in brand implementation experts to help with brand management – their own and that of their portfolio companies – means private equity firms can concentrate on their core competencies and leave the branding to specialists like Implementix.

If your private equity firm needs brand implementation help right now or wants to brainstorm ways to improve ROI ASAP for your next acquisition, give us a call at 1.888.831.2536.