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Key Success Factors through Post-M&A Integrations

Perspective Paper

Key Success Factors through Post-M&A Integrations

Meeting the Value Creation Challenge in Post-M&A Integrations

Whenever two or more companies and their brands come together, a minefield of challenges threaten the success of their integration. Post-M&A integrations are complex transformation processes. They involve numerous stakeholders and chase multiple outcomes. They are demanding on leadership, unsettling to employees, and confusing to customers and shareholders. Although the ambition of mergers and acquisitions is always to create value, the majority of integrations fail to deliver on the value they promise.

At Level5 Strategy, we have seen these challenges time and time again when helping clients overcome the obstacles of successful post-M&A integration. Our secret sauce? We guide clients to develop their transformation plans through a customer-centric lens, and with a view that sustainable value creation results from ‘promises, consistently kept’. In our view, this idea is the foundation of building valuable brands and delivering profitable growth.

The notion of Driving Value Creation through Promises Consistently Kept is also critical to delivering enduring and impactful post-M&A integrations. Every successful integration is based on a clear promise made to several stakeholders about what the new/combined brand, product, or service experience, and added shareholder value, will be. This promise is then fulfilled by a well-executed plan to empower change through the impacted organizations, processes, and experiences.


But what separates the companies who meet or exceed the ambitions of an integration, from those who fail to do so?

In our experience, there are several key success factors that underpin the most successful integrations. We share them here to offer insight, perspective, and learning to consider as you explore your next integration or reflect on your last.


Driving Value Creation…


  • Define and align around your ‘endgame’ – the expected value you are creating and what you will look like when it’s achieved
  • Ensure People & Culture are core to your diligence – don’t forget these, alongside more traditional topics
  • Proactively communicate the expected benefits of the integration to your customers, employees, supply partners and shareholders
  • Minimize disruption with a distinct integration plan, while adapting your current operating plan(s) to maintain focus on the day-to-day

…through Promises, …


  • Clearly confirm your Brand Promise; it anchors the future you’re delivering
  • Ensure the customer and brand experience you promise drives your plan
  • Deliberately navigate the stakeholder landscape; engage influencers in designing the change
  • Define what success looks like and how you will measure it along the way
  • Dedicate resourcing to plan, design and deliver – this is not a ‘side of desk’ job

…Consistently Kept


  • Establish a central ‘integration office’ to coordinate and drive execution
  • Accelerate with Early Wins to build momentum and credibility
  • Embrace ‘Progress’ over ‘Perfection’
  • Prioritize frequent and transparent employee engagement to sustain the change


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