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Net Results Rebrands and Launches Nine Products in Five Months During Tough Corporate Merger

Key Actions:
Maintaining a strong focus to keep the team focused on the work at hand
Creating information sources for all parties involved in the launch
Establishing trust and freedom of communication with team members
Developing and using effective, sustainable processes
Adjusting effectively to the stresses and cultural conflict associated with a merger
Enabling team members to achieve optimal performance in an environment of extreme change and anxiety
After the Client acquired Company Q, the Client needed to execute flawless, synchronized global launches. Their aggressive schedule called for the release of nine retail products in five months. Difficulties included highly different corporate cultures, opposed processes, and intense internal friction.

The Client is one of the world's largest suppliers of hard disk drives, offering an array of products for consumer, small to medium-size business, and large-enterprise use. They provide high-quality products, service, and support for the following market segments: client computing, branded products/retail, consumer electronics, and enterprise computing.

When the Client acquired Company Q, executives of both companies recognized they had very different corporate cultures. Associates of the Client were assertive and focused on quick outcomes, while Company Q employees worked in a team environment centered on consensus. The differences became glaringly apparent in the newly formed marketing department where the processes that were used to produce marketing communications were in total conflict.

"Being successful in a merger environment requires a unique combination of skills: listening, understanding who has power at the moment, and split-second communication. It's a two-minute drill. In this environment, indecision kills."
Deborah Hoard, Founder and President, Net Results

Both companies had a number of products in the retail pipeline. Both financial and industry analysts were waiting eagerly for a chance to expose their slightest misstep, using it to gauge the success or failure of the acquisition. The situation led the Director of Corporate Communications to tap Deborah Hoard of Net Results.

"I needed someone immediately who I could count on to take charge of the marketing communications for our new Consumer Electronics division on a short-term basis. To make it even more challenging, this person had to swim through murky political waters during a major corporate merger. Deborah Hoard of Net Results stepped right in and helped us launch nine products within five months."
Michael Sanchez, Director of Corporate Communications

Hoard became the communications hub, taking on the responsibilities of the marcom manager who was out on maternity leave, as well as taking on the role of project manager. Focusing closely on the individual timelines of each of the nine simultaneous projects, she established an overarching strategy for the effort. She then developed a clear plan for each launch, acquired agreement among the launch team, and coordinated the team efforts. The state of flux brought on by the merger placed the launch team under exceptional pressure. In an environment marked by change-induced stress, Hoard developed and set in place replicable product launch processes and procedures. The team depended on their "apolitical" consultant to set the tone and move the team toward their common goal.

All deadlines agreed to by Hoard and the team she led were achieved, and the nine worldwide product launches were highly successful. Throughout the merger process, the Client's stock price reflected the strength inherent in the corporation's reputation for solid execution.

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