Sensitive communication of merger benefits


A world leader in the manufacture of dental equipment and devices acquired a close competitor of one of its specialist business units.  The two entities were third and fourth in terms of UK market share.  The union of the two business units created the UK market leader.

The Niblett Whellams Partnership (TNWP) had already been working with one of the units for almost ten years, helping to grow the business from a minor player to one of the top tier companies in the sector. 

The brief

TNWP helped the newly formed company to publicise the merger and establish a set of core messages to reassure existing customers and attract new ones.  The challenge was to sensitively communicate the benefits of the merger in a market where ‘big’ does not mean ‘best’. 

Engagement with overseas business

Close liaison was necessary between the senior management teams of the two UK merged companies, and their respective former head offices in Germany and Sweden.  TNWP helped to ensure the messaging was consistent with the newly emerging corporate branding and values.  Culturally, the two merged units were very different so the campaign needed to incorporate a ‘best of both’ theme. 

Campaign overview

The merger communications programme included the following:

  • Intensive public relations campaigning, including development and publication of keynote interview with UK Managing Director
  • Display advertising focused on combined attributes of new company
  • Sustained programme of news stories and feature articles
  • Development of complementary leaflets and execution of direct mail communications
  • New product announcements
  • Promotion of professional education programme  
  • Rebranding of company’s local campaigning micro websites
  • Integration of both companies’ customers into business growth support schemes
  • Developing and distributing series of advertisements, leaflets and press releases to consumer media in support of company’s direct-to-patient campaigns  
  • Developing direct-to-patient marketing materials for use by company’s dentist customers

Evidence of success

The UK company was the only subsidiary to achieve above-target growth in the 24 months following the merger.       

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