FedExOfficeWhen it comes to mergers and acquisitions, the knee jerk reaction is often to dissolve one or both entities as quickly as possible, forming one single entity. This is usually coupled with lots of hype, launch parties, over dramatic ceremonies, cutting ribbons, and extensive campaigns to introduce the new brand and improved brand to the world.

Decisions like this seem like a good idea on the surface, and even where costs are concerned. After all, one lean business machine should be considerably more efficient than two separate entities working together, or so the the thinking goes.

In reality, blending two different corporations into one single entity is a massive undertaking. Organizational structures and work flows have to be redesigned, which may require employee training to help them adapt to new methodology.

One point often neglected, is the effects of merging company two distinct identities into one. The blending of company cultures is an undertaking that should not be taken lightly. It deals less with organizational structure and more with sociological factors such as how company ideals and company norms, how employees expectations.

Kevin Dugan of Strategic Public Relations, points to the FedEx announcement that they will be changing FedEx Kinko’s to FedEx Office. For over four years now FedEx has been slowly integrating the two companies to create a seamless entity, “a successfully merged brand.”

Brian D. Philips, president and chief executive officer of FedEx Office said,

Kinko’s was primarily a copy and print-service provider when it was acquired in 2004.

The name FedEx Office more accurately represents our broader role of providing superior information and services through our company-owned, digitally connected locations around the world.  We are a back office for small businesses and a branch office for medium to large businesses and mobile professionals.”

Back in 2004, FedEx’s vision obviously wasn’t to form the eternal entity of FedEx Kinko’s. The company likely envisioned much more, but they didn’t immediately dissolve the Kinko’s brand and throw a launch party introducing FedEx Office.

They sidestepped the pressure to create hype and instead leveraged the strengths of both companies to gain permission in the minds of consumers, to introduce FedEx Office four years later.