If all the above logos look unfamiliar, you’re not alone. They are some of America’s best-known airlines that have adorned her airspace for decades before succumbing to the reality of Corporate America: mergers and acquisitions. Many of which have suffered their death knell.
The airline was acquired by America West Airlines in 2005, with the new airline retaining the US Airways name. The name choice was based on studies indicating that the US Airways name had better brand recognition worldwide than the America West name.
In the world of global business, mergers are as common as marriages. And just like with marriages, where “love is blind”, cross-border ties are just another reality, that is increasing becoming commonplace.
DaimlerChrysler is one case in point. The failed merge of US-based Chrysler and German-based Daimler (the proud name behind Mercedes Benz) that clearly demonstrates that – just like marriages – some end in divorce. What at first seemed like a match made in heaven, turned out differently. After all, the US and German corporate cultures, habits and behaviors, were indeed different.
Failed mergers end up being dissolved and each company goes its separate way, back to their respective maiden names.
But let’s just focus on what happens when companies merge. Plenty! Both the good and bad. Firstly there must be a mutual synergy that bring companies together. A natural fit, that produces a win-win solution, where merging companies become better and stronger. Size has a lot to do with this.
And aside from the corporate cultures that come together and essentially create a new corporate culture, we’ll just look at the visual side of mergers. And how a merger impacts company logos.
Which companies’ logo and corporate identity to use? This is important and is not a decision to be taken lightly, as logos and corporate identity represent brands that carry deep symbolic meanings in customers’ minds. So the question would be to decide on either to combine the two logos, or create an entirely new logo. The latter seems to be the preferred choice.
And of course the choice of “not doing anything” also prevails, where the companies continue operating under their existing brand logos, and only the ownership changes hands.
This makes for an interesting dichotomy, but an even more interesting visual journey of the world of logos and corporate identities.