According to Reuters, there were over 50,000 merger & acquisition (M&A) deals announced in 2018. By May, R26.6-trillion had been spent on M&As, more than seven times SA’s annual GDP. SAB and AB InBev, Amazon and Whole Foods, Heinz and Kraft, AT&T and Time Warner, Microsoft and LinkedIn, and Bayer and Monsanto are all examples of M&As in recent years involving monoliths of industry, totalling R4.9-trillion. As brands consolidate to survive, brand architecture strategy is becoming increasingly important. Rephrasing the question In 2011, The Economist asked: “Do companies have to buy others to grow?” This was a pertinent question for the time, given that companies had lots of money and little direction on what to do with it. After the financial crisis, frugal spending by the private sector meant they had plenty of cash, leaving many executives with the question of what to spend it on. Eight years later it seems that the question, though still relevant, needs to be rephrased. Something ...

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