Growth strategies: Ignore culture and brand fit at your peril

Terry Tyrell
The Brand Union

MERGING OR ACQUIRING is a perfectly sensible strategy for growth and one that, on the face of it, would seem to promise faster and more secure earnings than an organic-growth strategy. But despite the successes, the overall record is surprisingly poor.

‘I'm into murders and executions,' says the character of Patrick Bateman in Brett Easton Ellis’ gruesome tale of 1980s Wall Street. A tongue-in-cheek twist on his daytime activities of mergers and acquisitions, the insightful remark from American Psycho is somewhat on the money.

M&As are considered by many to be ‘murders most foul’ with a body count that includes AOL-Time Warner, HP-Compaq, Alcatel-Lucent, Daimler Benz-Chrysler, Mattel-The Learning Company and Novell-WordPerfect, to name but a few.