Every business has a brand, but a great brand is usually built over time and relays to its consumers the organisation’s values and purpose. But what happens when a parent company takes over the business? Below, we look to Suppertime’s recent rebranding to match up with its parent company, Foodora and explain why brand consistency during company takeovers matters.

Acquiring Startups

Large corporations often decide to expand their established brand and acquire small businesses or startups. In Foodora’s case, they decided to expand their German parent-brand and late last year, acquired food-delivery service Suppertime, which was operating in Sydney and Melbourne. An acquisition strategy typically involves acquiring existing talent to ensure you can access the market faster.

Suppertime continued operating under its branding until March 2016 before moving to Foodora. The reasoning behind the shift was the inconsistency in branding and differences between websites and processes.

What’s In a Name? Branding and Intellectual Property

Suppertime’s rebranding to Foodora now matches the ten other countries Foodora operates in. What lessons can we take away from Foodora gobbling up the Australian food-delivery startup? Crucially, if you are acquiring a company or a startup, consider consistency to ensure your business develops loyalty and brand recognition internationally. Other factors include:

  • Trademarking your name in the country you initially set up, and think about where you want to grow your company. Before expanding your business internationally, lodge trade mark applications in each country you expect your business will operate in. Think of the forced re-branding of Burger King in Australia to Hungry Jacks – but that’s another story!
  • Ensure that licences, trademarks, apps, and websites are correctly assigned from the holding IP company to the newly acquired company. By taking the name of its parent company, Suppertime’s brand overhaul to Foodora would have also required the transfer of all intellectual property assets.
  • Ensure that users and customers are appropriately transferred to the acquiring company. A brand exercise to educate and inform consumers is also an effective strategy.

It is critical that you acquire a company or startup in such a way that confused branding doesn’t affect your bottom line and revenue streams. For Foodora, consistency throughout the process protected their investment and presented a chance to unify their message to their client base. As an increasing number of food delivery services emerge including UberEATS, Menulog and Deliveroo, it is important to maintain a competitive edge. Trading on an established brand and reputation built on your business’ intellectual property is an important tool to stay ahead in the game.

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If you have any questions about your business’ intellectual property needs or unifying your branding across multiple entities, get in touch with our IP lawyers on 1300 544 755.

Sophie Glover

Next Steps

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