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Project News | August 12, 2022

What happens to your brand when you acquire a business?

Every acquisition has its own dynamic, and the brand decisions that follow should be attuned to it. In the case of ICS Financial of The Plains, Virginia, and their buyout of a Charlottesville insurance agency, they needed to align their new subsidiary’s brand with their own, while preserving its unique identity.

In the process of developing this sub-brand, there were a few key steps that helped our clients meet this objective.

First, we upgraded a few select brand components for the insurance agency, a family business called Group Underwriters. This included their logo, which identified them as an ICS Financial company. 

In addition to conveying the new ownership structure, the refined logo established visual themes consistent with the ICS brand that we were able to carry through the Group Underwriters’ website

With a visual through-line to ICS established, we set out to strengthen the new site’s messaging. Group Underwriters has a deep-rooted legacy in the Charlottesville community and, even after the acquisition, they will continue to operate much as they have throughout their long history. So we felt it was important to articulate the history of this family business in a clear, professional manner that would help reassure existing clients the heart and soul of the business remained the same. 

Finally, we took steps to ensure the timing of the brand launch aligned with the official transition. Following news of the acquisition, clients could visit the Group Underwriters site and see an elevated brand that reinforces continuity, while presenting the development as a positive one. 

Most financial services companies go through, or at least consider, a buyout or acquisition at some point, because of how it may position them for growth or succession. But in order for both parties to see the full value of the transition, it’s essential to manage the brand component tactfully. 

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