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3 Tips for Negotiating a Winning Brand Purchase

According to M&A and Corporate Advisor Jonathan Lazarow, a winning brand purchase requires focus on authenticity and operational standards, as well as a clear end goal.

Buying a brand is a major investment, and getting it right can make all the difference between success and failure. 

As a founding partner of Ambrose, Mills & Lazarow, Jonathan Lazarow is an advisor on corporate matters, especially those pertaining to mergers and acquisitions (M&A). He recently spoke with 1851 Franchise to share his insights and advice on negotiating a successful brand purchase.

Build an Authentic Brand Story

A strong brand needs a compelling story that feels genuine to consumers. 

“Consumers are smart and they can tell when the brand is merely a mechanism to get into commerce,” said Lazarow. “A great brand is born from a very real place selling an authentic version of the creator’s world. It’s special.”

When developing the brand story, it's important to keep it real. Consumers are looking for authenticity and will quickly spot anything that feels fake or forced. Lazarow also stresses the importance of documenting this story and securing trademark protections to make sure the unique aspects of the brand are legally protected and can be preserved for the long term.

Stick to High Operational Standards

“A great story matters, but it’s the blocking and tackling that makes a brand come to life,” Lazarow said. “Instituting processes and procedures that ensure brand compliance over a period of time is what makes the brand valuable to third-party buyers.”

In other words, having a solid, well-documented operational plan is important. This reassures potential buyers that the brand can continue to run smoothly even if the leadership changes. 

“A good story with great operating history is even better, but a third party will buy the brand if they are reasonably secure in believing the brand can carry on with different leadership,” Lazarow said. 

Plan For the End From the Beginning

To maximize the value of a brand purchase, it’s essential to have an exit strategy from the start. 

“While many good brands come up naturally to fill a gap in the marketplace, the ones that trade for exceptional valuations were built to maximize an exit,” said Lazarow.

This means thinking ahead and planning how the business will eventually be sold. Whether you’re starting a brand from scratch or taking over an existing one, having a clear exit strategy helps guide your decisions and ensures you’re always working towards maximizing the brand’s value.

A well-thought-out business plan that considers the end goal can make everything clearer. It aligns all your efforts towards building a brand that’s not just successful in the present but also highly attractive to future buyers.

Negotiating a winning brand purchase involves a mix of authenticity, operational excellence and strategic planning. By building an authentic brand story, maintaining high operational standards and planning for the end from the beginning, you can significantly boost the value and success of your brand acquisition. 

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